Earlier this week, we reported on rumors surrounding the casting of Disney’s upcoming live-action adaptation of their animated classic, Aladdin. According to the report, the filming of the project was delayed (it was originally slated to begin production this month) due to their inability to find their leads. The problem, it seemed, was finding an actor of Middle-Eastern or Indian descent who could also sing and dance, in addition to act. This was highlighted to be most problematic in the case of the male lead.
Today, at the live-action panel at D23 Expo, Disney put some of our concerns to rest regarding the casting. It turns out, they’ve already cast three of its key roles, including Aladdin, Jasmine, and the Genie.
Playing Aladdin is Mena Massoud. You may not recognize the name, but he plays the character Tarek Kassar in the upcoming Jack Ryan TV show, and from the looks of it, he has a whole host of other projects on the horizon.
Taking the role of Jasmine is Naomi Scott, who was rumored as a frontrunner in the report. Scott, who is half-Indian, was most notably featured as the Pink Ranger in this year’s Power Rangers, so her career certainly seems to be on the right trajectory.
Playing the Genie is none other than Will Smith. He was rumored for the role some time ago, but this is the first time we’ve seen an official confirmation from Disney.
The film is currently in pre-production, with plans to begin actual production by the year’s end.
What do you think of this cast? Let us know your thoughts down below!
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