7/15/2017

Disney Finally Casts Its Live-Action 'Aladdin', Will Smith Confirmed As The Genie


Sorry, you ain't getting Riz Ahmed as Aladdin. The Internets have been whining ever since it was reported that Disney was having trouble finding a male lead for their live-action take on the animated classic, despite having tested some 2000 actors. And all I've heard since is "Why haven't they cast Riz Ahmed"? Maybe he was busy? Or not right for the role? Anyway, it ain't happening, but Disney has found their guy, as well as their girl, for the two most crucial roles in the film. Not only that, but they've just confirmed their Genie.

Revealed at D23 was news that relative unknown Mena Massoud will play Aladdin, while Naomi Scott will play princess Jasmine. Emerging from the lamp to play Genie is Will Smith, who was rumored for it some weeks back. He's got big shoes to fill following Robin Williams' unforgettable voice performance, but Will can definitely do it. He's got the big personality perfectly suited for it.

Massoud is a Canadian-Egyptian actor attached to the upcoming Jack Ryan TV series. This is his biggest role by far, though. Scott is half-British half Indian of Ugandan descent, which is pretty interesting. I think she's pretty much an ethnic chameleon on the big screen and can be seen as whatever the film needs her to be. Not sure that's what this movie should've gone with, but I won't knock it until I see her in action. She was recently seen in Power Rangers, so at least she has some blockbuster experience.

Unfortunately, Guy Ritchie is still directing it, which is an issue I'm surprised Disney hasn't taken care of yet. Not that his most recent movies have been bad (King Arthur and The Man from UNCLE were pretty good, actually), but he doesn't seem like the right fit for Aladdin. And yet it'll probably be the biggest hit of his career no matter what he does. Ironic, eh?