Anaheim: Disney has finally found its Aladdin in newcomer Mena Massoud for their live- action reboot. “Finding a male lead in his 20s who can act and sing has proven hard”, the Hollywood Reporter wrote last week, “especially since the studio wants someone of Middle-Eastern or Indian descent”.
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Naomi Scott, who starred in this year’s Power Rangers film, landed the role alongside Mena Massoud as Aladdin, and Will Smith as Genie.
The casting difficulties had reportedly held up production on the live-action remake, which was initially scheduled to go into production in July.
The original Aladdin was set in Agrabah, a fictional country in the Disney universe.
Disney has yet to announce who will play the role of Jafar.
British actress Naomi Scott has been cast as Jasmine.
She is of Egyptian and Yemeni descent.
Disappointed fans expressed their dismay in social media. Encouragingly, though, the movie’s casting notices for Aladdin and Jasmine specified, “these characters are Middle Eastern”.
“You will forever remain in our hearts, you are our jasmine”, said another.
As many people will know by now, “a whole new world” of live-action Disney remakes are on the horizon. He will take on the role of Genie, played in the animated movie by the late Robin Williams. It’s also worth noting that now, the team wants to have the best villain actor to take on the role of Jafar. They are confident that Smith’s fame is more than enough to bank on.