Screengrab via Disney/YouTube

Disney can’t find an actor to play Aladdin—but there’s no shortage of suggestions

*Googles Bollywood*


Kris Seavers

Internet Culture

Posted on Jul 12, 2017   Updated on May 23, 2021, 12:04 am CDT

Disney is making it a point to be culturally sensitive with its choice of who will play Aladdin in its live-action remake, but the search is proving harder than expected.

The studio and Aladdin director Guy Ritchie put out a global casting call in March, specifically looking for Middle Eastern and Indian actors.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney is having trouble “finding a male lead in his 20s who can act and sing,” even after four months of looking.

Twitter users have calmly questioned how this statement can be true when there are plenty of eligible actors in India. 

They have also kindly made many casting suggestions.

The list of recommendations includes Fawad Khan, who actually played a prince in the 2014 Disney film Khoobsurat.

Some have questioned whether the choice of an Indian actor would even be appropriate, since the film is based on a Middle Eastern folk tale

Actually, in the earliest versions of the story, Aladdin is from China.

But as some people are saying, at least Disney is trying to do the right thing—at this point. The voice actors of Jasmine and Aladdin in the original 1992 cartoon were white, by the way.

Disney expressed interest in Dev Patel (Lion, Slumdog Millionaire) and Riz Ahmed (Rogue One, A Star Wars Story), according to the Hollywood Reporter, but the role could also go to a Hollywood newbie. Naomi Scott from Power Rangers and Indian actress Tara Sutaria are being considered to play Jasmine, but final decisions won’t be made until a male lead is found. Will Smith has been discussed for the role of Genie.

Due to the casting delays, filming for Aladdin is now scheduled to start in August.

H/T Buzzfeed

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*First Published: Jul 12, 2017, 4:38 pm CDT