“Aladdin” Special Look Released: Naomi Scott Is Not Jasmine

Aladdin Naomi Scott Jasmine

British-Indian Naomi Scott as Jasmine in Disney’s Aladdin (Image: Screengrab)

The special look for Disney’s live-action Aladdin has been released. As far as my opinion goes, it came across as a mess. Not only does Will Smith look weird as the Genie, but it also makes no sense to me how a powerhouse like Disney couldn’t find an actress of Middle Eastern descent to play such an iconic Princess.

When the first promotional images were released for Aladdin, fans were disappointed to see a non-blue Genie. Well, it turns out, Will Smith’s Genie is going to be blue in the film even though he looks like a weirdly jacked-up character from Avatar.

Now, there are certain people who are defending Smith’s look and saying the CG isn’t finished yet. But you know what? I think this is definitely the kind of Genie we will get in the final film. The CG team might change the color a bit, but we are stuck with a CG character who has Smith’s face copy/pasted on it.

Even though Thanos was a CG character, he came across as somewhat real due to Josh Brolin’s likeness being used. The same goes for the lead character in Alita: Battle Angel. I do think the Genie would have turned out better if Smith’s likeness was used instead of his actual face.

And don’t even get me started on Jafar’s voice!

As for British-Indian Naomi Scott’s Jasmine, I can’t understand how the House of Mouse couldn’t find an actress of Middle Eastern descent for the role. I would have taken an actress of Turkish-descent over Indian at this point.

If you are someone who thinks people of Middle Eastern descent are interchangeable with ones of Indian-descent (which is South Asian along with Pakistan), well, go open some geography and history books to educate yourself. I don’t have the time.

Her casting seems to be similar to the understandable issue fans have of wanting to see a dark-skinned Storm in movies.

It is interesting to see how much harm a minute-long trailer was able to do to this film, which many were looking to for some positive Middle Eastern representation in potential blockbusters. Have you looked at the dislikes?

The entire thing is just disappointing to me, especially after the good work (representation-wise) Hollywood has done with Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians.

What did you think of the Aladdin special look? Let us know.

Update!

Here’s a video I did about this issue!

The upcoming Aladdin has Billy Magnussen as Prince Anders because that is exactly what was missing from the animated version, right? A (from what I can tell) white prince. Sigh!

Also, the Westernized pronunciation of the names of characters from the Middle East. I am so done.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.



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