Disney casts its lad in 'Aladdin,' but is the 'Jasmine' a 'horrible' choice?
Last Edit: WaymanWong 04:50 pm EDT 07/16/17
Posted by: WaymanWong 04:40 pm EDT 07/16/17
In reply to: re: Aladdin gets its leads ..... - WaymanWong 12:50 am EDT 07/16/17

Grace Randolph of Beyond the Trailer says Disney deserves more credit as a major studio making blockbusters with more diversity.

She applauds the ''fabulous'' selection of Mena Massoud, who's Egyptian-born and Canadian-bred, as Aladdin.

Especially in an era and pop culture where Arab/Middle Eastern actors are often limited to playing terrorists.

But she predicts Naomi Scott is gonna get ''roasted'' because being half-Indian still isn't the same as being Arabic/Middle Eastern.

Similarly, Randolph says it would be wrong to cast Ben Kingsley (half-Indian) or some white guy as the major villain, Jafar.

Her ideal candidate would Shahab Mosseini, who starred in this year's Oscar-winning foreign film, ''The Salesman,'' from Iran.

However, Randolph raises a bigger question that crossed my mind: Why is Disney entrusting ''Aladdin'' to Guy Ritchie? He's best known for his testosterone-driven movies, like ''Lock, Stock and Two Barrels,'' ''Sherlock Holmes'' and ''King Arthur.'' One of the few romantic movies he'd directed was ''Swept Away,'' a 2002 bomb that won him and his ex, Madonna, Razzie Awards. Or could ''Aladdin'' play like a feature-length Madonna video?

Contrast that to this year's live-action ''Beauty and the Beast,'' which Disney entrusted to Bill Condon. He's an Oscar-winning screenwriter (''Gods and Monsters'') who penned the screen version of the Oscar-winning Best Picture ''Chicago'' & directed and adapted the multi-nominated ''Dreamgirls.''
Link Beyond the Trailer: 'Aladdin' live-action cast, with Massoud, Smith and Scott

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