Disney Announces Main Aladdin Cast Including Will Smith


Earlier this week, reports surfaced that Disney was having a difficult time finding leads for the live-action remake of the 1992 animated classic, even pushing production back a month as a result, but seeing Disney's confidence in announcing the cast at its annual expo, it's hard not to wonder if those claims were slightly exaggerated.

Names including Massoud's, Achraf Koutet and George Kosturos were among those circulating the internet for weeks prior to Disney's announcement.

As previously announced, "the awesome Genie will be played by the equally wonderful Will Smith", Bailey said.

Joining Massoud in the whole new world of Disney musicals is 24-year-old British actress Naomi Scott, who has been cast as Princess Jasmine.

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Sherlock Holmes filmmaker Guy Ritchie is directing the film, which Bailey said draws influences for its city of Agrabah will draw from global influences, including the Middle East, India, and even China. He recently landed his first major role in Amazon's forthcoming Jack Ryan TV series.

Will Smith will voice the Genie.

And while established stars like Riz Ahmed ("Rogue One: A Star Wars Story") and Dev Patel ("Slumdog Millionaire") were flagged by the studio, the film ended up casting a newcomer for the coveted role.

The film was reportedly struggling to find a suitable actor to play Aladdin. Scott was born in London and is best known for playing Kimberly - or the Pink Ranger - in the newest Power Rangers movie. She previously appeared in a 2011 Disney Channel movie called "Lemonade Mouth", and sang on the film's soundtrack.