According to The Hollywood Reporter, a new character is being written for the upcoming Aladdin live-action film, and he is already creating waves.
Billy Magnussen, who is best known for playing f*ckboys like Rapunzel's prince in Into the Woods, Nicky Sloane in Ingrid Goes West, and Kato Kaelin in American Crime Story, will join the cast as a character named Prince Anders. How a blue-eyed, blonde haired dude ended up in Agrabah remains a mystery, but it certainly got people talking.
The casting decision definitely caused a fair amount of controversy, and led to accusations of whitewashing. If nothing else, people seemed confused as to why Disney would decide to add a new white character, especially because it would be a change from the original 1992 animated film. The casting decision also caused much ire because up until this point, production was careful to cast Aladdin as authentically as possible, mostly picking Middle Eastern and Arabic actors to portray the beloved characters.
Twitter dragged the seemingly random casting:
The film will star newcomer Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine and Marwan Kenzari as a weirdly sexy Jafar.
Will Smith is signed on to play the Genie.
But Magnussen isn't the only one playing an original character. Saturday Night Live alum Nasim Pedrad will step in as Mara, a handmaiden and friend to Jasmine.
Of course, we can't judge the character of Prince Anders before seeing what role he plays in the story...but if it ain't broke, why add some random white guy?