If you’re harboring concerns of potential whitewashing with regards to Disney’s live-action Aladdin movie, don’t; producer Dan Lin has revealed that the Mouse House is making a conscious effort to recruit a diverse ensemble cast for the Guy Ritchie-directed fairytale.
Collider caught up with Lin in anticipation of The LEGO Batman Movie gracing theaters this coming weekend, at which point the producer stressed that Aladdin won’t succumb to the lack of diversity seen in Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. Instead, Ritchie and the creative team are drafting up plans to cast relative newcomers as the film’s leading duo, Aladdin and Jasmine – and make no mistake, Ritchie’s live-action version will be a musical through and through.
First up, on the topic of casting concerns, Dan Lin noted that the Powers That Be at Disney want to make a movie “that’s authentic to that world.”
Look at me. (Laughs) I mean I’m not a typical guy. Listen I’m very fortunate working in Hollywood; I am diverse. So when I came in to make the movie, I wanted to make a diverse version of the movie. Luckily for me Guy Ritchie has the same vision and Disney has the same vision, so we’re not here to make Prince of Persia. We want to make a movie that’s authentic to that world.
For a director renown for hard-boiled British gangster films, Guy Ritchie isn’t exactly a name that springs to mind when one thinks of Disney musicals. Even still, the playful, light-hearted spirit of his more recent efforts (see: Sherlock Holmes, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) ought to jive with the source material.
When quizzed about the potential cast members, Lin continued:
We’re gonna be discovering new people because it’s a real challenge, because not only does an actor have to act, but they really have to have singing chops.
Disney is yet to lock down a release date for Aladdin at the time of writing. Next up for the Mouse House though is Bill Condon’s live-action Beauty and the Beast, which will roar into theaters on March 17th.