Thursday , October 22 2020

Disney Is Developing an Aladdin Spinoff Starring Billy Magnussen, Which Seems in Poor Taste – Gizmodo,

“Wait, they’re giving a spinoff.” to that guy? ”Image: DisneyPop quiz, hotshot: say you’ve made abig, colorful remakeof one of your most“>beloved animated properties, featuring a massive cast of people of color, many of them from groups that are typically only cast in Hollywood as, uh, terrorists. Say that movie makes a lot of money, and you decide to make a spinoff for your new streaming service. Which character do you base that spinoff on?

If you said, “Literally anyone but the bumbling white guy,” you have gone about this very differently than Disney. That’s right: as reported bythe Hollywood Reporter (********************, (a *** spineoff starring Prince Anders (Billy Magnussen) ), the bumbling and haughty prince fr om the kingdom of Skanland, one of“>Princess Jasmine’s

failed suitors, is in the works for Disney . The spinoff will be produced by Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich, who produced theAladdinremake, with Jordan Dunn and Michael Kvamme attached to write a script for the nascent project.


Now, let me say this carefully. It is not the case that making a spinoff series about a subjectively delightful cameo character is a bad thing, and this is not to cast any aspersion on the good name of Billy Magnussen, who is a fine actor known for such fabulous roles as a supporting turn inGame Night (**************************, a fine film, or in that oneStar Trekepisode ofBlack Mirroreveryone likes. But.But **********************But ********************************

It is certainly the case that the live-action adaptation of (Aladdin) did the right thing by casting mostly people of color to tell a story based directly on Middle Eastern folk tales. It is also certainly the case that this doesn’t really make up for the fact that the originalwas made without any such involvement from the people groups whose stories the overwhelmingly profitable film series is based on.It’s also alsomost certainly the case that Middle Eastern and Arabic actors have an extremely difficult time finding roles in American media that do not cast them as racist stereotypes.

And it is (certainly) the case that Mena Massoud, the actor who played Aladdin in the remake, has gone on the record recently (as in, this week) stating in an interview with the Daily Beast that, since the release of Aladdin , he has not even gottenanother audition, a harrowing reminder of the barriers even the most successful actors of color face in the industry.

A series of facts that makes the existence of the Prince Anders spinoff, Certainly, a bit awkward. To put it mildly.

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