With the success and popularity that the live action Beauty and the Beast had this year, it’s no surprise that the next live action remake that has everyone talking is another film from the Disney Renaissance: Aladdin, and (unlike Mulan, which is slated to release next November) we are already getting updates from the set as casting has finally concluded and production has officially begun.
Back in July at D23 Expo, the three main characters of Aladdin were officially announced: Will Smith will be taking on the role of the Genie, Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine, and Mena Massoud will be playing the titular role and everyone’s favorite street rat.
Since then, casting rumors have been flying around the internet faster than a magic carpet ride, but it looks like we have a complete cast list now, which includes familiar characters from the original classic as well as some new faces in this retelling.
Marwan Kenzari is taking up the staff and creepy goatee as he portrays Jafar, the royal vizier. Of course, we all know that he’s the villain of the story as he devises a plan to dethrone the Sultan and rule Agrabah himself. Kenzari will be seen in Murder on the Orient Express when it hits theaters this November.
Navid Negahban (most notably from the series Homeland) will be playing the Sultan, and Numan Acar (also from Homeland fame) has been cast to play Hakim, most likely taking the place of Iago as Jafar’s right hand man and minion.
Nasim Pedrad will be joining the cast as a brand new character to the story: Dalia, Jasmine’s hand maiden, confidant, and best friend. And Billy Magnussen, who portrayed Rapunzel’s Prince in Disney’s remake of Into the Woods, will be playing another new character named Prince Anders, seemingly Aladdin’s rival for Jasmine’s affection.
This new Aladdin remake is being directed by Guy Ritchie, and Alan Menken will be writing two new songs for this film to accompany the already amazing soundtrack from the original.
There is still no release date announced for this remake, but if the selfie shared by Will Smith showing the cast and set has anything to say about it, we’ll be getting plenty of updates throughout the production to tide us over until it hits the big screen.
Are you a fan of the live action remakes coming from Disney lately? How do you feel about the cast? Does this story really need a Prince Anders? What are you most looking forward to seeing in this retelling? Let us know in the comments!
Amanda Woomer-Limpert is one of the Geekiverse’s newest writers and a former Disney Cast Member… She’s keeping her fingers crossed to see Gilbert Gottfried reprise his role as Iago complete with orange beak and red and blue feathers.
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