While known for playing iconic characters ranging from Howard Hughes in The Aviator to Hugh Glass in The Revenant, Leonardo DiCaprio will reportedly not be playing Persian poet Rumi anytime soon.
Screenwriter David Franzoni and producer Stephen Joel Brown, who are working on a film about the 13th century poet, said in an interview that DiCaprio was their top choice to play Rumi.
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However, sources say no one from the film has reached out to DiCaprio about the project, reports hollywoodreporter.com.
“He hasn’t been asked, but regardless he will not be pursuing the project,” sources close to DiCaprio said.
Meanwhile, thousands of people signed a petition demanding producers cast a Middle Eastern actor to play Persian poet Rumi in the film.
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
Racists get so mad when a FICTIONAL character eg hermione is made black but they're fine whitewashing REAL PEOPLE??? Ok #RumiWasntWhite— Chloe (@Marmite___) 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
Rumi: "Why do you stay in prison, when the door is so wide open?"— Patricia Schwarz (@TessEractica) June 6, 2016
Hollywood: "We have too much invested in here to leave."#RumiWasntWhite
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
The petitioners called it the “Hollywood whitewashing” for not giving Muslim actors positive roles and typecasting them as negative characters.
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