The announcement of a new Aladdin spin-off, starring Billy Magnussen, has been met with widespread criticism.
A few days after Mena Massoud confessed he hadn’t had a single audition since the live action reboot of Aladdin came out earlier this year, Disney+ has announced that his co-star Billy, 34 – who played royal Prince Anders vying for the attention of Princess Jasmin (Naomi Scott) – has signed onto the new project.
Following the initial reports from The Hollywood Reporter, frustrated fans were quick to highlight the issues of race and privilege, as they questioned why Mena – who is of Egyptian descent – has been struggling in the industry, while Billy, who merely had a few scenes in the movie, has been awarded his own series.
‘They picked the only non-brown cast member!’ The announcement of a new Aladdin spin-off, starring Billy Magnussen, has been met with widespread criticism
According to reports, it was New York born actor Billy himself who approached producers for the spin-off idea.
MailOnline has approached representatives for Disney+, Mena Massoud and Billy Magnussen for further comment.
Jordan Dunn and Michael Kvamme have been roped into writing the script, with the reboot’s Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich returning as producers.
Billy, who has starred in the likes of The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is said to be reprising his role as Prince Anders – which was an original character created for the reboot earlier this year.
However, while his efforts were met favourably from producers, fans of the Disney classic, which is set in the fictional Middle Eastern city of Agrabah, were left outraged over Disney+’s decision to branch out into the franchise with a white actor.
News: Days after Mena Massoud confessed he hadn’t had a single audition since the live action reboot of Aladdin, Disney+ has announced the new spin-off, starring Billy
‘Nonsense’: Frustrated fans were quick to highlight the issues of race and privilege when it came to Mena and Billy’s varying successes following Aladdin
Outraged comments included the likes of: ‘So let’s talk about how they picked the only non-brown face in the cast from the live-action “Aladdin” to make a spin-off series for Disney+.’
‘Absolutely no offence to Billy Magnussen — I’m always here for him playing a white guy of any kind — but this is some timing after that Mena Massoud interview.’
‘Me finding out about Disney wanting to make a spin off about that white prince (lol don’t even know his name that’s how irrelevant is character was ) #Aladdin.’
‘Of course the white Prince gets his own show…#aladdin.’
‘So you’re telling me that Mena Massoud (the guy who actually played Aladdin) is struggling to get an audition, yet the prince who was in three scenes at most gets his own movie? Sure, totally fair. ..#aladdin.’
Rising star: New York born Billy has starred in the likes of The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Candid: The furore was further intensified following comments by Aladdin’s lead actor Mena, in which he expressed he hadn’t had a single audition since the release of the flick
The furore was further intensified following comments by Aladdin’s lead actor Mena, who in a recent interview with The Daily Beast, admitted: ‘I want people to know that it’s not always dandelions and roses when you’re doing something like Aladdin.’
Mena, who reportedly beat over 2000 other men for the part, said there were many misconceptions about his supposed post-Aladdin success.
‘”He must have made millions. He must be getting all these offers,” he paraphrased, ‘It’s none of those things. I haven’t had a single audition since Aladdin came out.’
And following the new news of the Aladdin spin-off, the furious comments continued: ‘It’s ridiculous that @MenaMassoud hasn’t had a single audition since #Aladdin. They’re needs to be more Asian representation in film & TV!’
‘Not always dandelions and roses’: Mena, (with Naomi Scott) who beat over 2000 other men for the part, said there were many misconceptions about his supposed post-Aladdin success
‘We need more Asian representation!’ Following the new news of the Aladdin spin-off, the furious comments continued
‘When you find out they picked the only white character from #Aladdin to have a spin-off and you realize that his part was so insignificant you forgot he was a character at all.’
‘So Mena can’t get an audition after killing it in Aladdin but the one white dude gets a spin off? Disney just say you’re racist and move on, jfc. #Aladdin #DisneyPlus.’
‘What white nonsense is this?? Mena Massoud hasn’t been getting auditions and Disney wants a spin-off on this random #Aladdin character? Wtf.’
As of right now, little else is known about the upcoming Aladdin spin-off and its story-line.
Upcoming: As of right now, little else is known about the upcoming Aladdin spin-off starring Billy