Actor Mena Massoud generated some controversy with a recent Twitter post, and the speech appears to have led to him quitting the social media platform altogether. In 2019, Massoud played the title character in Aladdin, the live-action remake of Disney’s animated film. The film was hugely successful at the box office, grossing over $1 billion worldwide, including over $356 million made domestically.
Then Disney rolls the dice with The little Mermaid, as the live-action remake of that movie hits theaters later this month. On Twitter, a post shared by The Hollywood Handle noted how The little Mermaid is aiming to make $115 million domestically for its opening weekend, about $3 million more than what Aladdin won in 2019. On his personal account, Massoud responded in a way that many had interpreted as an affront against The little Mermaidsuggesting it still wouldn’t join the billion dollar club like its live-action remake did a few years ago.
Massoud’s post read, “Our movie was unique in that audiences went to watch it multiple times. That’s the only way we’re going to hit $1 billion with our opening. I guess that’s TLM won’t cross the billion mark but will undoubtedly get a sequel.”
The tweet has since been deleted and Massoud’s account is no longer accessible, but the images remain behind and can be seen on TMZ. It appears that Massoud may have abandoned his Twitter account following the backlash following the posting of his tweet. Some fans of The little Mermaid and its star Halle Bailey slammed Massoud for getting involved and seemingly throwing shade at The little Mermaid with his prediction that most viewers wouldn’t watch the film a second time, unlike Aladdin.
The Aladdin sequel may have collapsed
It wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that Massoud’s frustrations with Aladdin 2 may have come into play when commenting on a separate live-action remake from Disney. For years we’ve been talking about giving Aladdin a sequel, but the project stalled in development hell relentlessly. While director Guy Ritchie teased in February that there were still ideas in the works, Massoud said the following month that the project was pretty much dead in the water.
“Very unlikely at this point,” Massoud wrote on Twitter at the time to a fan asking if Aladdin 2 was never going to happen.
The little Mermaid will be released in theaters on May 26, 2023. Directed by Rob Marshall and written by David Magee, the film stars Halle Bailey as Ariel with the cast also including Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Jonah Hauer -King as Eric, Javier Bardem as King Triton and Noma Dumezweni as Queen Selina. The animal characters in the film are Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, and Awkwafina as Scuttle.
You can see the official trailer below.