Disney Reportedly Can't Find A Live-Action 'Aladdin' Actor, But The Internet's Not Having Any Trouble
Believe it or not, Disney is apparently having difficulty finding an actor in his 20s of Middle-Eastern or Indian descent, who can sing and dance. What, you don't believe it? Well, neither does the internet. After The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Disney and director Guy Ritchie are reportedly having trouble casting Aladdin in Disney's live-action version of the film, Twitter stepped in to help. (Bustle has reached out to Ritchie and Disney for comment on the casting, but did not receive an immediate response.) Seemingly out of the goodness of their hearts, some very hardworking Twitter users have decided to taken things into their own hands and provide a few suggestions for who could star in Aladdin.
Even though fans offered suggestions, that doesn't mean that they weren't angry, especially since Disney reportedly is struggling, even after a global casting call. As comedian Jenny Zang joked in all-caps on Twitter, "THERE IS LITERALLY AN ENTIRE SECOND MOST POPULOUS COUNTRY IN THE WORLD W AN INDUSTRY OF MEN WHO DANCE AND SING." Meanwhile, others are worried that Disney being unable to find someone may mean the role will get whitewashed. It's certainly not a silly concern, since it was rumored that British actor Tom Hardy could be up for the role of Jafar.
The Hollywood Reporter noted that the studio was interested in Lion's Dev Patel or Rogue One's Riz Ahmed, but is now leaning toward hiring a newer, younger actor to take the role. To help make things easier, the internet has come up with more than a few ideas of who would make the perfect Prince Ali alongside the film's Genie, Will Smith.
1. Avan Jogia
Jogia is one of the most popular suggestions so far. The actor made his mark on Nickelodeon'sVictorious, where he starred alongside Ariana Grande and Victoria Justice. He's also appeared in the short-lived teen thriller Twisted and played King Tutankhamun in miniseries Tut. One person went as far to tweet, if Jogia "doesn't play Aladdin, I'm not watching."
2. Eman Esfandi
This lesser-known actor's name was added to the conversation by some loyal Twitter followers. According to his IMDb page, he's appeared in six short films. But something of note, his résumé mentions his special skills include tapping and rapping. Could he be the up-and-coming star Disney is looking for?
3. Mohammad Hasher
Hasher isn't exactly an actor, but the teen went viral earlier this year for taking his little sister to the father-daughter dance at her elementary school. If he was able to warm the internet's heart with his act of kindness, he'd probably also be able to charm Jasmine too.
4. Manish Dayal
The American actor played Raj Kher on The CW's 90210 and currently stars on Marvel's Agents Of Shields.
5. Jade Hassouné
The Shadowhunters actor is getting a lot of love online from fans who believe he'd be perfect for the role.
6. Adam Bakri
Bakri is best known for his role in the 2013 film Omar, but fans thinks it would be better if he was now known as Aladdin.
7. Deniz Akdeniz
Akdeniz has more than a little experience in this role since he played Aladdin on the small screen in Once Upon A Time. Some think it's time to give him a chance to take the role to the big screen.
8. Rahul Kohli
The iZombie actor's fans want to see him play Aladdin, but the Brit seemingly shot down the idea on Twitter. "You're all sweethearts for @'ing me this morning but it's not realistic or gonna happen," he wrote. "Let's keep it real."
9. Zayn Malik
Malik may be a little too big for the role being that he's an international superstar, but that hasn't stopped fans from throwing his name into the ring. Can't blame them, since it's already known he can dance, sing, and wear a vest like nobody's business.
10. Kumail Nanjiani
The Big Sick star nominated himself for the role, tweeting, "What am I chopped liver?" Of course not, Kumail, but you should probably sing "A Whole New World" and upload it to Twitter immediately.
Whether Disney casts Nanjiani or not, there's absolutely no excuse when it comes to appropriately casting Aladdin. In fact, they may now have the opposite problem: too many great actors to choose from. And when they do cast the role, the internet will probably be the first to say, "You're welcome."