Despite not hearing about it in a considerable amount of time, things are finally moving forward for #GuyRitchie's Aladdin, the live-action adaptation of the animated classic. Just a few days ago, we learned the film would go into production this July. And now, it seems it won't be long until we get a look at the actors who will bring this magical story to life.
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Hold on to your magic carpets, everybody, because Disney recently put out an open casting call for the characters of Jasmine and Aladdin:
The specifics of the casting are:
- The characters are Middle Eastern
- Actors should be between the ages of 18 and 25
- Must be able to sing
- Dance Experience is a definite plus
According to the description, rehearsals will begin this April, before production starts (as we already knew) in July, 2017. Filming will end in January of next year. It's incredibly exciting to see #Disney moving forward with the movie, but there's something very important to take away from this announcement.
Disney Is Taking A Step In The Right Direction In Terms Of Diversity
A wider cultural representation is sorely needed in Hollywood. Disney has stated its intention to be more inclusive and diverse with its new films numerous times in the past. And #Aladdin's casting call is a sign of the studio going in the right direction to achieve that goal.
A perfect example of underrepresentation in the entertainment industry is this year's Ghost in the Shell. Much criticism was directed at the film due to Scarlett Johansson being cast as the lead character, Japanese cyborg Motoko Kusanagi, instead of an Asian actress. The reason give was that she's one of the most recognizable stars around, and that would therefore give the film a boost at the box office. However, the explanation has fallen flat with many because it ultimately means not giving capable, unknown Asian actors a chance to shine.
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Fortunately, Disney is steering away from that. By the open casting call and the required ethnicity, the studio's showing us two things: First, that it isn't afraid to have an unknown and fresh set of faces to lead its potential franchise. And second (and most importantly), that Disney is going in the right direction to start representing its various audiences without unfounded fears of that being a monetary risk.
Considering rehearsals are scheduled to begin this April, it shouldn't be too long before we have our live-action Jasmine and Aladdin.
When do you think we'll have official announcements for the Aladdin cast? Who would you like to see as Jasmine and Aladdin? Let me know in the comments!