On Friday, Dec. 6, Disney announced that it was venturing into a whole new world of spinoffs with an upcoming live-action film for its Disney+ streaming service. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio's 2019 blockbuster Aladdin reboot is getting the spinoff treatment — and fans already have a lot to say about it. Especially in light of lead Mena Massoud's recent interview about the scarcity of auditions post-film, people aren't happy that Disney’s new Aladdin spinoff is centered on this minor character for one key reason.
On Dec. 6, the Hollywood Reporter revealed that Disney was in the "planning stages" of returning to Agrabah with a film that will be centered on Prince Anders, the newly created role played by Billy Magnussen in the live-action remake of Aladdin. Per the publication, the film will not be a sequel to the live action movie and will have Aladdin producers Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich returning for the project. Magnussen reportedly approached the studio with an idea for the plot, but the publication stayed mum on what the film will be about.
While Magnussen was lauded for his scene-stealing performance as the prince from Skanland who wooed Princess Jasmine for her hand in marriage, he was a pretty minor character and only appeared in a handful of scenes in the live-action film. That, plus the fact that he was one of the only white characters in Aladdin is upsetting fans in light of lead Mena Massoud's recent interview where he admitted that post-Aladdin, his career wasn't taking off like he thought it would.
While promoting his Hulu series Revival (the role which he got before starring as Aladdin), Massoud said in an interview with The Daily Beast that the fact that the film had made more than $1 billion since its opening, but that hadn't changed anything for him in Hollywood.
"I’m kind of tired of staying quiet about it," Massoud told the publication just days before the news broke about the planned Aladdin spinoff. "I want people to know that it’s not always dandelions and roses when you’re doing something like Aladdin. ‘He must have made millions. He must be getting all these offers.’ It’s none of those things. I haven’t had a single audition since Aladdin came out."
"It’s wild to a lot of people," Massoud continued, admitting that he hasn't really "seen a big anything from it."
"People have these ideas in their head," he said. It’s like, I'm sitting here being like, OK, Aladdin just hit $1 billion. Can I at least get an audition? Like I’m not expecting you to be like, here’s Batman. But can I just get in the room? Like, can you just give me a chance? So it’s not always what you think."
Unsurprisingly, fans aren't here for the fact that Disney cast a minor character like Magnussen in his own spinoff while the film's leading man is still struggling to find work in Hollywood.
Disney has yet to comment on the backlash to news of the spinoff, but I wouldn't be surprised if they take note from their fans' reactions. For fans wanting to see more of Massoud, he'll be taking a magic carpet ride back to Agrabah in the upcoming Aladdin sequel, which is reportedly in the early development stages.