In news that it would be hard to have timed more poorly—given actual star Mena Massoud’s recent comments about how little fronting a blockbuster, billion-dollar Disney movie has done for his career—the entertainment mega-giant announced today that it’s putting a Disney+ Aladdin spin-off into the works…based on a dopey white guy who was barely in the original movie at all.
Specifically, THR reports that Disney has begun development on a direct-to-streaming spin-off movie based on Billy Magnussen’s foppish Prince Anders, an over-the-top doofus whose sole purpose in Guy Ritchie’s remake is to make some (admittedly pretty decent) jokes, and to set a baseline for the kinds of fools that Naomi Scott’s Princess Jasmine is regularly asked to suffer. Magnussen—whose recent credits also include Into The Woods, The Big Short, and the upcoming Bond flick No Time To Die—reportedly approached Disney with an idea to expand the character, with writers Jordan Dunn and Michael Kvamme assigned to the project to help the actor flesh it out into a proper script.
To be fair, this odd little side-excursion—focused, it’s kind of hard not to note, on the only non-person-of-color in the entire film—isn’t the only Aladdin follow-up in the works; Disney has reportedly been cooking up some kind of plan for the sequel, which would presumably bring back Massoud, Scott, and Will Smith as Genie. Hell, it’s not even the worst attempt we’ve ever seen by a studio desperately attempting to cash in on a surprise blockbuster success; it’s still better than that time Warner Bros. looked at the massive money brought in by Aquaman and said “Hey, people would really like a spin-off about those weird fish monsters that show up for five minutes of our movie, right?”