News broke this past week that Disney was having problems casting the right actor to play Aladdin for its live-action version of ALADDIN. But apparently, that is no longer the case. According to Entertainment Weekly:
“Aladdin will be played by a young actor named Mena Massoud,” Walt Disney Studios production president Sean Bailey announced at the D23 Expo on Saturday. “Jasmine will be played by Naomi Scott.”
Massoud, who costars on Amazon’s Jack Ryan TV series, was raised in Canada but was born in Egypt. Scott most recently starred in the Power Rangers reboot and has also appeared in The 33, the Disney Channel original movie Lemonade Mouth, and the Fox series Terra Nova.
As previously announced, “the amazing Genie will be played by the equally amazing Will Smith,” Bailey said.
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. Not only will the 1992 animated movie be a major influence, but the screenplay will go back to the classic Arabic folktales of One Thousand And One Nights.