– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Hollywood has a real bad habit of casting white actors in non-white roles. It’s a trend that has its origins all the way to the beginning of filmmaking itself. However, if the past few years has been any indication, the trend is far from extinct. Movies like The Prince of Persia, Gods of Egypt, and Exodus: Gods and Kings are all examples of movies set in the Middle East that starred white actors in the lead role.

And don’t get us wrong. We get it. Hollywood likes money, and it’s hard to take risks. But it’s 2017, and the industry finally seems to understand that someone has to take these risks first. In recent months, Disney has been promising diversity in some of their upcoming live-action films like Mulan, which pretty much necessitate a non-white cast. Another big question mark has been the Aladdin film from director Guy Ritchie.

Would Disney be willing to go out and search for Middle Eastern actors? Turns out, yes! A casting call has just gone out on Twitter. 

Check it out below.

Obviously of note: not only will the actors need to be Middle Eastern, but they’ll also need to sing and (preferably) dance. This isn’t a huge surprise. By and large, Disney’s remakes have retained aspects of their animated counterparts. The Jungle Book had a couple of the songs from the original film, and Beauty and the Beast seems like it’ll be packed to the brim with musical numbers. 

Now who can we expect them to cast as the Genie? That’s the $10,000 question. Would it be an established actor, or someone else? Either way, they’ll have some darn big shoes to fill, as Robin William’s portrayal was near-untouchable.

Also noteworthy on the casting call is the shoot dates: July 2017 – January 2018.

While there is no release date set just yet, we can infer a mid-to-late 2018 release date, but that would be jumping the gun quite a bit.

Regardless, all this news seems quite promising, and we can’t wait to see what comes of it.

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SOURCE: Dani Fernandez (via Twitter)

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.