Guy Ritchie’s live-action Aladdin remake has made the bizarre decision to create a new character for the film, in the shape of a white prince played by Billy Magnussen.
Yep, Magnussen is set to star as Prince Anders, alongside Mena Massoud (Aladdin), Naomi Scott (Princess Jasmine), Marwan Kenzari (Jafar) and Will Smith (Genie), The Hollywood Reporter writes.
And, understandably, people are somewhat bemused by this move, with one writing on Twitter: “I am so confused to why they add a new white character to a complete story that is set in the Middle East?”
This isn’t the first time Disney’s Aladdin remake has caused controversy, as the film was previously criticised for casting Naomi Scott (a non-Arab actress).
Scott – who rose to fame in the role of the Pink Ranger in this year’s Power Rangers reboot – is of British, Ugandan and Gujarati Indian heritage.
One person wrote on Twitter: “I love Naomi Scott, but I don’t love the ‘brown people are interchangeable’ idea that Hollywood believes in, so it’s a no from me.”
And another said: “All these Arab actresses on the planet and they cast half-white, half-Indian Naomi Scott as Jasmine. Indian isn’t middle-eastern, Hollywood.”
Disney was previously urged to avoid “whitewashing,” after Tom Hardy was rumoured to be linked to the role of Jafar in the film.
Aladdin, which will star Mena Massoud as the lead character and Will Smith as the Genie, is expected to open in cinemas some time in 2019.
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