Disney Calls for Middle Eastern Actors for Aladdin Film | Playbill

Film & TV News Disney Calls for Middle Eastern Actors for Aladdin Film The movie musical, which will begin shooting this summer, is on the hunt for its Jasmine and title character.
Michael James Scott Deen Van Meer

Disney has sent out a casting notice for the roles of Aladdin and Princess Jasmine for its previously announced live-action remake of Aladdin. To be helmed by Sherlock Holmes director Guy Ritchie, the film will be a movie musical based on the original Oscar-winning 1992 animated feature, which featured a score by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice.

The casting notice from Cindy Tolan Casting calls for actors between the ages of 18-25 who can sing with dance experience. Rehearsals are set to begin in April ahead of a six-month shooting period in the U.K. between July–January 2018.

Actors wishing to submit must email a photo and video of themselves singing to [email protected]. CTC casting, whose credits include A View From the Bridge, All My Sons, and Avenue Q, is based in New York City.

The mention of ethnicity—“the characters are Middle Eastern”—on the casting notice follows concern raised that the film may be “whitewashed.” After initial reports of the Aladdin remake, a Care2 petition emerged pleading with Disney to authentically cast Middle Eastern actors and garnered over 17,000 signatures.


Aladdin takes place in the fictional city of Agrabah, Arabia, and according to the narrator in the original animated film, is located near the Jordan River. The stage musical is currently playing on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre. Joshua de la Cruz plays the title role, Courtney Reed plays Jasmine, and Major Attaway is the Genie.

Following the success of the part-live/part-CGI adaptation of its animated film musical The Jungle Book, Disney is gearing up for the anticipated release of Beauty and the Beast, which will hit cinemas U.S.-wide March 17.

Remakes of animated films Mulan, and The Lion King are also reportedly in the works.


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