A new original character not featured in the 1992 animated classic “Aladdin” will be played by actor Billy Magnussen.
Billy Magnussen will be playing the role of Prince Anders in Disney’s live-action Aladdin movie, directed by Guy Ritchie, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Magnussen is the only white actor in the film, which stars Mena Massoud as the title hero, Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmin and Will Smith as the loveable Genie. The evil villain Jafar will be portrayed by Marwan Kenzari.
The details behind Magnussen’s character are locked up in the metaphorical Disney vault as of right now, but that hasn’t stopped some fans from speculating about his role, assuming that his title, “Prince,” opens the door for some potential competition for Aladdin over Jasmin’s favor. Magnussen, a Tony nominee, previously played Rapunzel’s prince in Rob Marshall’s “Into the Woods.”
This new character is the second to be written into the film from the original 1992 story. “Saturday Night Live” alum Nasim Pedrad will play Mara, a friend of Jasmin’s.
But it’s Magnussen’s casting in the previously all person-of-color cast that has people across the internet upset.
“So millions of people have seen the Aladdin cartoon.They couldn’t trust the live action to work enough without creating this?!” user @bgirl65 tweeted.
“Disney can make a frame by frame remake of Beauty and the Beast, but Aladdin needs to be altered?! The animated film was perfect wtf!” added @atomicwick.
“This new character for #aladdin makes me sad to be white, the Aladdin world has no white people sorry but we don’t need to be in everything,” noted @Ashleyfangirl.
“The story of Aladdin is almost perfect. But you know what it’s missing? A white prince that wasn’t in the original…” — Said Nobody Ever,” tweeted @ThisJayThomas