Is Tom Hardy doing OK? I mean, financially? After years of alternating between prestige films (The Revenant, Dunkirk) and more idiosyncratic projects (Legend, The Drop), Hardy seems to have accepted a streak of surprisingly mainstream blockbuster roles. After being attached to Ubisoft’s video game adaptation Splinter Cell for several years, Hardy recently shocked fans by accepting the title role in Sony’s Venom spinoff. And now, perhaps most surprising of all, is the rumor that Hardy is considering signing on for the role of Jafar in Disney’s live-action Aladdin remake. At this point, maybe we should create a GoFundMe for whatever gambling debt Hardy seems to have racked up.

This particular rumor comes courtesy of The Sun (via Heroic Hollywood) which recently spoke with a source saying that director Guy Ritchie had approached Hardy about playing the role of the villainous Jafar in their remake of the classic animated Disney film. Here’s what their insider had to say:

Guy is a huge fan of Tom’s work and securing him would be a major coup. There have been conversations and, although nothing is set in stone and things are subject to change, he’s certainly one of Guy’s favoured choices. It just depends on schedules whether he’ll be able to sign up.

In an absolute vacuum, I would certainly be excited to see Hardy give his take on a classic Disney villain, but there’s some pretty obvious extenuating circumstances here. Throughout the development process, Disney has promised its fans that Aladdin would honor the story’s Middle East roots and emphasize diversity in its casting process. Should Hardy sign on for Aladdin, he would instantly put a bullseye on both the film and his own performance, and actors (or at least their agents) should be smart enough these days to know when they’re courting a PR disaster with a role. And while I’ve enjoyed Ritchie’s last two movies, the director hasn’t exactly bought himself a great deal of leeway with the flop of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Do you really want to strap yourself to a ship that could possibly be sinking? Jafar is all downside, no upside for an actor like Tom Hardy. Seems like a good idea to sit this one out.

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