Potential Casting Of Leonardo DiCaprio As Persian Poet Rumi Triggers Backlash

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is currently being eyed to play the 13th century Persian poet Jalaluddin al-Rumi in a new biopic written by Academy Award-winning writer, David Franzoni. Robert Downey Jr. is also being considered to co-star as mystic Shams of Tabriz. Fresh off the heels of the #OscarsSoWhite backlash, social media has responded with a #RumiWasntWhite hashtag that is gaining plenty of traction.

Despite the protest from social media, Stephen Joel Brown, the of the film, said in a recent interview with the Guardian, “This is the level of casting we’re talking about.” Franzoni insisted that he wanted to “challenge the stereotypical portrayal of Muslim characters in western cinema” and give “a face and a story” to the legendary poet.

Casting decisions for the biopic have not been confirmed.

DiCaprio won his first Academy award for his role in The Revenant. He is currently signed on to produce the crime drama Live By Night directed by Ben Affleck as well as the thriller Delirium with Topher Grace and Patricia Clarkson.

He is repped by .

—TO SEE ALL THE PROJECT DETAILS CLICK HERE—

 | Staff Writer
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