Disney has been enjoying a ridiculous amount of success with their recent live-action adaptations of animated classics. Right now, it is working for a live-action Aladdin movie but they’re facing a whole new world of trouble: it still hasn’t locked down an actor for the male lead.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that the studio is currently searching far and wide for their new Aladdin. Disney, director Guy Ritchie and casting director Randi Hiller brought on casting directors around the globe —from London to Egypt to Abu Dhabi and India— screening over 2000 actors who have auditioned for the roles. However, they didn’t find the right one just yet.
The Mouse House confirmed earlier this year that it’s committed to casting Middle Eastern or Indian descent in the key roles of Aladdin and Jasmine. The original casting call indicated that production was supposed to begin by July, but the search for a male lead in his 20s who can also act and sing has dragged on.
Alright kids, if you know someone who fits this, you better share this with them. Submit asap. Good luck my babies pic.twitter.com/PLP37ritcV
— Dani Fernandez (@msdanifernandez) March 9, 2017
Live-action Aladdin Movie Cast
Will Smith is already on board to play the genie which was voiced by Robin Williams in the original animated version and sources said Disney is strongly considering Power Rangers actress Naomi Scott or Indian actress Tara Sutaria for Jasmine. But they can’t finalize the deal without an Aladdin to chemistry-test her against.
The studio has apparently set their sights in Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) and Riz Ahmed (Rogue One) for the titular role but is likely to cast a new face. Heroic Hollywood reports among those who are on the short list are Achraf Koutet, American George Kosturos, and Mena Massoud.
Previous reports claimed Tom Hardy was being eyed to play the movie’s big bad, Jafar. The trade states that producers want to go with a big name for the antagonist role, but it remains to be seen whether the studio will cast a Middle-Eastern actor.
The live-action Aladdin movie has been rescheduled to begin shooting in August for a yet-to-be-announced premiere date.