Are Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert Downey Jr white enough to star in a Hollywood biopic of medieval Muslim poet Jalaluddin al-Rumi?

The producers of a Hollywood biopic about 13th-century poet Jalaluddin al-Rumi hope to cast Leonardo DiCaprio in the role—and they're eyeing Robert Downey Jr. for the part of "enigmatic mystic" Shams of Tabriz.

The Guardian:

…though they said it was too early to begin casting. "This is the level of casting that we're talking about," said Brown, chief executive of Y Productions, who was also a producer on other hit films such as Se7en, The Fugitive and the Devil's Advocate. The movie will be co-produced by Y Productions and Es Film.

A key challenge will be trying to build credible and identifiable profiles of Rumi and Shams from a considerable body of mythology. Even the basic facts of their lives are in dispute. Revered Islamic figures in popular discourse tend to be mythologised as saints rather than flawed characters, with their achievements embellished and their flaws papered over.

A great quote from Oscar-winning screenwriter David Franzoni:

Franzoni said he hoped the audience would be able to identify with the poet. "What's fascinating is where did this all come from? It's the 21st century and we're rolling in it and embracing it. If we position ourselves carefully, [we can say] now we're going to tell you where something you love came from," he said.

They will never get it, you know. They will dismiss it and mock it, then, when forced, pretend to understand it and apologize for casting white people in "ethnic" roles. But as soon as critics are out of their faces, they go right to back to doing just that, because they just don't get it.