There’s no guarantee this film ever gets made. And if it does, DiCaprio may well refuse the role, especially if he considers how poorly other whitewashed roles have been received in recent years.

In last year’s Gods of Egypt, Egyptian characters were played mostly by white people (though the director and studio both apologized before the film was released). In Ridley Scott’s 2014 film Exodus: Gods and Kings, Christian Bale played biblical hero Moses, while Joel Edgerton played Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II. Scott’s explanation for using famous white actors was that it was the only way to finance the film.

Both films tanked spectacularly at the box office and were poorly received by critics. That’s what Hollywood still doesn’t understand—whitewashing usually doesn’t even work.

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