He may not be the first actor that comes to mind when you think of someone playing the 13th century Sufi mystic Rumi, but given his acting prowess, Leonardo DiCaprio may just pull it off with his signature flourish.
Academy award-winning writer David Franzoni, who also penned the script for Russell Crowe’s ‘Gladiator‘, is busy with a project in collaboration with producer Stephen Joel Brown — a film based on the life of Jalaluddin Rumi, focusing especially on his curious relationship with Shams Tabriz, his muse and mentor.
And speaking of Shams Tabriz, here’s another surprise; the writer and producer’s choice for the actor to play that role is none other than Robert Downey Jr., who’s more of an action hero than eastern mystic one would think, no?
How these two ‘white’ and very western guys are going to literally don the robes of the East’s best known spiritual teachers is a topic that that been trending on social media, with fans and critics both weighing in with contrasting opinions.
Rumi’s mystical poetry has a huge following in the West, especially in the US, where modern liberals claim to find answers to their spiritual questions by meditating on his verses.
Whether the two actors will do justice to their roles remains to be seen, but that the film will ‘challenge Muslim stereotypes’ is a given, according to its producer Stephen Joel Brown.