The "Aladdin" live-action movie on Disney will perhaps need to rely on a genie's magical powers for real. It was recently reported that production has been struggling to find its lead stars even after searching worldwide for months.

The Hollywood Reporter cited that director Guy Ritchie, casting director Randi Hiller and some Disney executives have been to different parts of London, Abu Dhabi, Egypt, and India to find Aladdin and Jasmine. Alas, even after seeing 2,000 actors and actresses, they couldn't pick the people right for the parts.

No whitewashing

Disney wanted to remain committed to keeping the cast authentically Middle Eastern or of Indian descent in “Aladdin” to avoid being accused of whitewashing.

Moviegoers and critics have called out Hollywood several times in the past for putting Caucasian big-named stars in roles that were supposedly Latino, African-American, Asian or Indian.

Disney also originally set its sights on casting Dev Patel or Riz Ahmed for the role of Aladdin despite being older, but a decision was made that a newcomer should headline the film. They also wanted to get the chemistry right between the leads but screen tests from the auditions revealed no such results. One insider claimed that the process of looking for the stars of “Aladdin” has been “one big mess.”

Casting rumors

In April, Deadline reported that Disney and Will Smith have been in discussions as the studio wanted the “Fresh Prince” star for the role of Genie.

It’s a big part even if it’s not the lead. Robin Williams voiced and brought the character to life in the animated version.

E! News once cornered Guy Ritchie about a confirmation on the Oscar-winning actor’s casting but the director did not give any firm answer. "I like Will Smith very much," Ritchie told the news outlet. "It would make me very happy to be making it with him, but the whole thing is very exciting.”

Rumors also surfaced that Guy Ritchie would like “Mad Max: Fury Road” star Tom Hardy to play the villain Jafar.

But because of potential whitewashing criticisms, the plan was nixed.

A whole new world

Disney’s 1992 animated version of “Aladdin” was based off the folklore "One Thousand and One Nights" that featured Aladdin, the Magic Lamp, and the 40 thieves. The movie was widely praised by critics but it also received negative reactions about racism and ethnic stereotypes.

The theme song to the animation called "A Whole New World" also received numerous citations including Best Original Song at both the Oscars and Golden Globes.

Plans to do a live-action remake were laid out in 2015 with John August writing the screenplay. Production was supposed to begin his July but no work can begin without the cast.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!