With the theatrical release of Beauty and the Beast just around the corner, which is tracking to rake in as much as $120 million on its opening weekend, Disney is already gearing up for the next live-action reboot on the docket: Aladdin.
THR confirms that the studio has sent out a casting call for Middle Eastern actor ages in the 18 to 25 age range for the lead roles of Jasmine and Aladdin in the live-action remake. Guy Ritchie is attached to direct the film, which will reportedly have six-month filming period in the U.K., from July 2017 to January 2018, with rehearsals beginning in April. That’s a pretty insane production schedule, so Disney must have some rather extraordinary spectacle planned for this one. The script comes from Big Fish screenwriter John August, with Dan Lin (The Lego Batman Movie) producing.
Check out the casting breakdown as it was originally revealed on Twitter:
Alright kids, if you know someone who fits this, you better share this with them. Submit asap. Good luck my babies pic.twitter.com/PLP37ritcV
— Dani Fernandez (@msdanifernandez) March 9, 2017
The news comes as a welcome confirmation that Disney is keeping mindful of whitewashing their culturally diverse tales. The studio is taking similar steps for cultural authenticity with their live-action Mulan, sending out a casting call for actors “fluent English and Mandarin Chinese.” The Aladdin audition notice also confirms that the remake will keep the musical elements of the original film, noting that the actors “must be able to sing” and ” dance experience is a plus.”
Previously, Lin told us that Aladdin wouldn’t end up a Prince of Persia situation, which is to say a film about the Middle East starring white-bread heroes (see also: Exodus, Gods of Egypt, etc.). Here’s what he told us at the time:
“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.”
Aladdin is one of many, many live-action reboots Disney has in the works right now, including Jon Favreau‘s The Lion King, a Tinker Bell movie with Reese Witherspoon, and an Emma Stone-led spin on 101 Dalmations’ Cruella DeVille