With Disney set to film a live-action version of Aladdin, rumors of potential casting additions have been circulating. Disney recently put out an open casting call to middle eastern actors ages 18-25. While it appears there haven’t been any official announcements, there has been some fan speculation as to who should play the lead role, former One Direction member, Zayn Malik.
Casting Zayn as Aladdin would be a homerun for Disney. We know from his days with One Direction he has outstanding vocal ability. Zayn will be able to hit the notes on the many Aladdin songs such as “Whole New World”.
Zayn would be an addition that would bring casual audiences (Especially those who are fans of One Direction.) to the theater. Similar to Emma Watson in Disney’s most recent live-action remake,
Beauty and the Beast, a well-known actor or actress can add just as much intrigue as the film itself.
While Zayn seems like the perfect casting choice, it’s likely not going to happen. Disney is looking for Middle Eastern actors to play the role of Aladdin. Zayn is Pakistani, which eliminates him from contention, as Pakistan is not considered part of the Middle East.
You’d think Disney could make an exception. There aren’t many well known Middle Eastern actors between the ages of 18-25. The likely scenario is that Aladdin will be played by a completely unknown actor, which isn’t a bad thing. Although, how much better would this film be with a familiar face as it’s main character?
Someone with the pedigree and fan base of Zayn Malik would do a lot more for the movies appeal. But who’s to say he’d even get the part if he auditioned? While a fantastic singer, we have never seen the former One Direction member in any films that show off his acting ability.
Regardless if Zayn fits the criteria for Aladdin, he should at least be able to get an audition. Disney might fall in love with him, and could look past their stipulations for the role. If it doesn’t work out, at least they can say they tried.
It would be foolish of Disney to not give this any thought, as Zayn Malik could be the best man for the job. Let’s hope they come to their senses before it’s too late. Follow Daniel James Gentile on twitter @dgentleman9288.