LOS ANGELES: The news of Leonardo DiCaprio to play Jalaluddin Rumi has received backlash on social media as Rumi fans do not seem happy with the decision that Rumi be played by a white actor. They say he was Aisatic so the role should be played by an Asian.
“#RumiWasntWhite. We continue to have our heroes and important stories coveted…as long as we are not part of them,” a fan wrote on his Twitter account.
It is pertinent here to mention that some of the Hollywood flicks that cast white actors for brown characters did not do well at the box office.
Lead actor of Titanic and Oscar Award winner in category of Best Actor, Leonardo DiCaprio is likely to play Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi in one of his upcoming movies.
A Sufi mystic, poet, and scholar, Rumi was a Persian Muslim poet who lived during the 13th century, eventually settling in Persia, present-day Turkey.
Gladiator playwright David Franzoni and Se7en producer Stephen Joel Brown are working on a film on life of Rumi.
Franzoni and Brown told the Guardian that they want Rumi to be portrayed in the film by this man (DiCaprio). Franzoni hopes to sign Robert Downey Junior to play Rumi’s mentor, Shams of Tabriz. While DiCaprio was his first choice to play Rumi.
According to the Guardian, Franzoni and Brown hope the film will challenge Muslim stereotypes in western cinema. “He’s like a Shakespeare,” Franzoni told the Guardian. “He’s a character who has enormous talent and worth to his society and his people, and obviously resonates today. Those people are always worth exploring.”
Franzoni has finalized different locations in Turkey, during his recent visit, for the film.