One of the many live-action adaptations of their animated classics that Disney has in the works is Aladdin. Set to be directed by Guy Ritchie from a script by John August (Big Fish, Corpse Bride), the film has been seeking out actors of Middle-Eastern, or Indian, descent for the main roles to avoid any sort of whitewashing controversy. Already cast are Aladdin, Jasmine, and Genie. Mena Massoud was cast as Aladdin, whereas Jasmine will be played by Naomi Scott, who portrayed the Pink Ranger in this year’s Power Rangers film. Will Smith, meanwhile, has already been tapped to play the Genie.
Previously, the very white Tom Hardy was rumored as being considered by Guy Ritchie for the role of Jafar, but now The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Marwan Kenzari has just been cast as Jafar. If you don’t recognize the name, don’t fret. Kenzari is on the verge of breaking out with a role in this fall’s Murder on the Orient Express, in addition to the huge blockbuster that will be Aladdin. He did have smaller roles in The Mummy and Ben-Hur, so I don’t blame you for not knowing the name… yet.
The Hollywood Reporter also mentions that former SNL comedian Nasim Pedrad has landed a role written exclusively for the new version of Aladdin. Pedrad, who has been in Scream Queens and New Girl, will play Mara, the handmaiden and friend of Jasmine, who is being described as a comedic supporting role.
What do you think of this casting? Do you recognize Kenzari or Pedrad from anything? Let us know in the comment section below!
Don’t forget to share this post on your Facebook wall and with your Twitter followers! Just hit the buttons on the top of this page.
SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter