A lot of announcements are rolling out of D23 this weekend. Chief among them is one that’s troubled the internet for awhile now, with a few thinkpieces recently pumped out wondering why it’s taking Disney so long to cast its leads for Aladdin? Well, the wait is over. The House of Mouse has cast Mena Massoud (“Jack Ryan“) as the titular hero, Aladdin! They have also cast Naomi Scott (Power Rangers) as Princess Jasmine!
Massoud and Scott join the recently-cast Will Smith, who recently signed on to bring Genie to life in the live action update of the 1992 animated classic. At this time, no one has yet been cast in the villainous role of Jafar, but Disney is supposedly courting major stars for the part. The film is not expected to be a straight remake of the original, but instead work in more material from One Thousand and One Arabian Nights. It will, however, retain its songs, much like Bill Condon’s Beauty and the Beast redo earlier this year.
Filmmaker Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes) is on board to direct the project, which has been adapted by screenwriter John August (Big Fish). Filming is expected to begin sometime next year. The studio has not yet set a release date for the picture. Barring any major shifts in their recently announced slate, I’m not sure if I would expect this reboot to arrive earlier than 2020. More as it comes.
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