When Disney announced that a live-action adaptation of “Aladdin” was being developed, fans were worried that the cast chosen wouldn’t be true to where the story takes place, that it would be “whitewashed” with actors not representative of the character's true ethnicity. However, producer Dan Lin has gone on the record to let fans know they need not worry.
Speaking to Collider as part of a junket for “The LEGO Batman Movie,” Lin was asked about Hollywood's history of whitewashing. While promising his film would not fall into that pitfall, Lin took a not so subtle jab at “Prince of Persia” in his answer.
“Look at me. (Laughs) I mean I’m not a typical guy," Lin said. "Listen I’m very fortunate working in Hollywood; I am diverse. So when I came in to make the movie, I wanted to make a diverse version of the movie. Luckily for me ['Aladdin' director]Guy Ritchie has the same vision and Disney has the same vision, so we’re not here to make 'Prince of Persia.' We want to make a movie that’s authentic to that world.”
Lin also said that he and Ritchie would be looking to cast newcomers to Hollywood for the parts of Aladdin and Jasmine, in part due to the need of living up to the music of the original animated film. “We’re gonna be discovering new people because it’s a real challenge," he explained, "because not only does an actor have to act, but they really have to have singing chops.”
Disney's live-action "Aladdin," directed by Guy Ritchie, has no release date yet.