Disney's live-action remake machine is still chugging along, but at least the studio is looking to widen its net and cast some diverse stars for its next tentpole.
The studio has put out an open casting call for the roles of Aladdin and Jasmine in the live-action Aladdin, which is being directed by Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes). Disney is looking for actors who are Middle Eastern, 18-25 years of age and able to sing and dance. The film is set to shoot from July 2017 through January 2018.
Considering the flack Hollywood has caught the past few years in regard to white-washing cast lists, it's encouraging to see the Mouse House look for some unknowns who would actually be believable for the story of Aladdin.
Producer Dan Lin suggested as much when recently discussing the project, saying that he wanted to make a "diverse version" of the Aladdin legend and that Ritchie and Disney have "the same vision" for the project. Which means, put simply, don't expect someone like Jake Gyllenhaal to land the gig (we're looking at you, Prince of Persia).
Aladdin is tentatively set to open in 2019.