Disney has been having a lot of success with live-action remakes of its animated classics as of late, such as Cinderella, The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, and its next attempt to capitalize on nostalgia appears to be Aladdin, which appears likely to be released in 2019.
Among the lead actors is Will Smith, who is slated to fill the role of the Genie, memorably played by Robin Williams in the original animated classic that was released in 1992. The 49-year-old Smith, who released the first photos of the main cast from filming, is coming off the major box office success of Suicide Squad, in which he played the legendary assassin known as Deadshot.
Much like in 1992, when it cast the then-relatively unknown Scott Weinger as Aladdin (although Weinger would earn fame as Steve Hale on Full House before Aladdin was released), Disney opted to choose a lesser-known actor as the titular character with the Egyptian-born Mena Massoud as Aladdin. Other than a recurring role on the TeenNick series Open Heart as Jared Malik, Massoud has yet to have any regular roles in the United States.
Starring opposite Massoud will be Naomi Scott, who is coming off an appearance as Kimberly in the recent Power Rangers reboot. The choice of Scott represents Disney returning to some past experiences, as Scott has previously worked with the company in the film Lemonade Mouth when she played Mo Banjaree.
The final member of the main cast will be Marwan Kenzari, who will take the role as the chief villain, the sorceror Jafar. Kenzari is a Dutch actor of Tunisian descent, and his most recent major role came as a supporting actor in Tom Cruise’s version of The Mummy.