Disney’s Live-Action ‘Aladdin’ Casts Billy Magnussen and We Are Confused AF

Disney just added a new Aladdin character in the upcoming live-action remake of the beloved animated film from the 90s: a White prince named Prince Anders. According to Hollywood Reporter, the part will be brought to life by Billy Magnussen, the actor who is arguably most famous for his role as Rapunzel’s Prince in the Hollywood adaptation of the Broadway musical “Into the Woods”.

billy magnussen
via Instagram / living_in_bookz

No further details about this new character have been revealed as of yet, but there is speculation that Prince Anders will play a romantic rival to Prince Ali, Aladdin’s royal, rich alter-ego.

Immediately after the casting was announced, netizens took to Twitter to question the decision, mainly asking why an additional White character was needed in a film set in the fictitious Middle Eastern city of Agrabah.

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Perhaps AV Club summed up the casting choice (and everyone’s reaction to it) best:

“After an exhaustive global search to find actors to portray Aladdin and Jasmine in its upcoming live-action Aladdin adaptation and the hiring of a megawatt movie star to play the Genie, Disney looked over its cast list, thought to itself, “something’s not right here,” and went out and got a blue-eyed, blonde-haired white guy.”

Magnussen is no stranger to being the only White man in a cast made up of predominately people of color; recently, he played Steve McKee, who was wrongly identified as the main protagonist in the Bruce Lee biopic “Birth of the Dragon” due to a misleading trailer. McKee was the lone White male in a cast of twenty or so Asians and, although he played a supporting role, it stunk of White saviorism. The movie was not received well, in large part, due to this casting and marketing.

Additionally, he also played a questionable role in “Ingrid Goes West“, a satire film on social media. Cast as Nicky Sloane, Magnussen made a racist joke against Asians by pulling back his eyes to imitate the eye shape that some Asians possess. Moments after the racist bit, it was revealed that he was in a relationship with the sole Asian character, Harley Chung — a one-two punch for many Asian-Americans who resent the people who are dating Asians while simultaneously dehumanizing them.

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As for Aladdin, the Guy Ritchie-directed musical flick also stars Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine, Marwan Kenzari as the villain Jafar, and Will Smith as the Genie. Let’s just hope that Aladdin’s character, played by newcomer Mena Massoud, won’t be pushed to a lesser role in favor of this new prince

Feature image / (Left) via Wikimedia Commons Alessandra Nölting (CC BY-SA 2.0) / (Right) via YouTube YouTube Movies

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