After a highly publicized search that appeared to be taking a magic carpet ride to nowhere, Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” remake has found its stars. Mena Massoud will play Aladdin himself, with “Power Rangers” star Naomi Scott as Jasmine; Will Smith is taking over for Robin Williams as the beloved Genie. A relative newcomer, Massoud doesn’t have many credits to his name.
The news was just announced at Disney’s ongoing D23 expo, which yesterday revealed several details about “Toy Story 4,” “The Incredibles 2” and other upcoming projects. Guy Ritchie, fresh off his recently released “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword,” is directing the “Aladdin” remake. Scott Weinger and Linda Larkin voiced Agrabah’s most famous duo in the 1992 animated classic, a key entry in the Disney Renaissance.
Still to be cast are Jafar, whom the Hollywood Reporter notes “will likely be played by a name actor,” as well as his mouthy parrot Iago, whose namesake is the inspiration for one of the greatest opening lines in literary history: “What makes Iago evil? Some people ask. I never ask.” No word yet on what Joan Didion thinks of the “Aladdin” news.