Ever since they announced a live-action remake of Aladdin, Disney has been searching long and far to make this movie perfect. It begun with them choosing director Guy Ritchie to helm the Disney classic. With the recent events of Disney’s D23 event, we have now learned who will be playing some of the characters in the main cast of the remake.
Disney has been met with a lot of scrutiny about making sure that certain movies like Aladdin and Mulan are met with a racially accurate cast to portray the classic movie characters. This has lead to Disney taking their time with finding actors to properly reflect the ethnicity of their characters. Disney also has been looking for actors and actresses who are relatively newcomers to portray certain characters, as well as sing and act. With this they have seem to have found their Aladdin, Jasmine and Genie.
The role of Aladdin was won out by actor Mena Massoud, a fairly new actor who stars in Amazon’s TV series Jack Ryan. Fans were pleased when they learned that Massoud is of Arabic decent which matched with his character. The controversy that Disney received came from their casting of up-and-comer Naomi Scott to portray the role of Princess Jasmine. Scott is of British and India decent, not Arabic like her character, which has brought backlash from fans over the casting. The role of Genie, made famous by the late great Robin Williams, was given to Will Smith, who was previously rumored to be in Disney’s Dumbo remake, but ultimately chose to pass.
Director Guy Ritchie has stated that as far as the movie and screenplay go, he wants to portray a classic Arabic Folktale while drawing from global influences like India, the Middle East, and even China to portray the city of Agrabah. While much is still unknown, rumors have been circulating that Ritchie wants actor Tom Hardy to play the role of the villainous Jafar, which again comes under much heat from fans as Hardy is of British decent. As far as the hilarious character of Jafar’s pet parrot Iago, no word has been said on a voice actor for the character and if actor Gilbert Gottfried would reprise his role.
Personally for me, I feel the movie is still so far away from production that I am waiting to pass judgement on it quite yet. I don’t agree with Ritchie’s choice for Jafar. Ultimately, my dream actor would be Ben Kingsley, much to the dismay of my colleague Jake Berlin, but as I said the movie is still just beginning to take shape so I look forward to more information as we get it. What do you think about the cast? Let us know in the comments below and whether or not you agree with the castings!