The Jakarta Post
Mena Massoud in 'Americanistan' (2014). (Landed Entertainments /File)
After taking the long and winding road, Walt Disney Studios has finally found the lead actor for the live-action Aladdin remake.
The company reportedly cast a newcomer -- not local actor Reza Rahadian, mind you – Mena Massoud to play the role of Aladdin. The Coptic Egyptian-Canadian actor is recognized for his roles in television series Open Heart and Saving Hope.
The team reportedly spent months searching for the lead actor and had looked over 2,000 actors for the role. Popular names, such as Dev Patel and Rizwan “Riz” Ahmed, were among those considered by the studio.
Announced on Saturday during the D23 Expo in the Anaheim Convention Center, the company also revealed that English actor Naomi Scott would be playing the role of Princess Jasmine and Will Smith would portray the well-loved witty character Genie.
So excited to be a part of this adventure! This is gonna be fun :) https://t.co/fFpkkEg2kR— Naomi Scott (@NaomiScott) July 15, 2017
According to Hollywood Reporter, Aladdin will be directed by English filmmaker Guy Ritchie and it is set to begin shooting in August in London.
Though the actors for the main characters have been announced, Disney reportedly is still looking for actors to fill other roles, including the infamous villain Jafar, his sidekick parrot Iago and Princess Jasmine’s father Sultan. (jes/kes)