An Oscar-nominated screenwriter David Franzoni has signed on to pen a biopic about 13th-century Persian poet Jalal al-Din Rumi. He would like to cast Leonardo DiCaprio as Jalal al-Din Rumi and Robert Downing Jr as Shams of Tabriz.
“Rumi is hugely popular in the United States. I think it [making this film] gives him a face and a story,” Franzoni said.
Many people were outraged when they heard about the potential casting of white actors in the Rumi movie.
— Stephen Kinzer (@stephenkinzer) June 8, 2016
no muslim country or people will accept white washing our history #RumiWasntWhite yu mean asian/afghan man is not in America
— Mo Ali Mire (@youngmire2) June 8, 2016
— Mohamed Taha (@Mo_Taha1) June 8, 2016
— Hind Makki (@HindMakki) June 7, 2016
remember when idris elba wasn't "english enough" to play james bond, but it's chill if leo dicaprio plays rumi #RumiWasntWhite
— a a m i n a (@aaminasdfghjkl) June 7, 2016
YOU GET SOUTH ASIANS N MIDDLE EASTERNERS 2 PLAY TERRORIST #3 BUT WHITE PEOPLE 2 PLAY ACTUAL MUSLIM HISTORICAL FIGURES #RumiWasntWhite
— Mohammed Haidar (@Arshloc) June 7, 2016
Racists get so mad when a FICTIONAL character eg hermione is made black but they're fine whitewashing REAL PEOPLE??? Ok #RumiWasntWhite
— Chlo Dameron (@Marmite___) June 7, 2016
— trisha (@katmcnmara) June 7, 2016
So they want a white man to play Rumi, a SUFI PERSIAN poet, but when they need a terrorist they find Muslim actors so easily #RumiWasntWhite
— Aayesha (@AayeshaJ) June 7, 2016
Rumi was born in Balkh, Afghanistan. He was Afghan. Hollywood, get it right if you are gonna make a film. #RumiWasntWhite
— mariamamini (@mariamamini) June 7, 2016
— Aliya Karim (@alumalu) June 7, 2016
Don't "challenge Muslim stereotypes" by trying to change fact and history #RumiWasntWhite
— Khushii (@____Zugzwang) June 6, 2016
Travelled for ten days and ten nights over land and sea. Came to a pool of water that reflected the moon but still #RumiWasntWhite
— Raf (@1Rafz) June 6, 2016