Newcomer Mena Massoud Headlines Disney's ALADDIN With Naomi Scott

Disney hasn't really had it easy in recent days as news began circulating of its casting woes regarding Guy Ritchie's live-action adaptation, Aladdin. Frankly, I was hoping Ritchie would get back to focusing on a third Sherlock installment but I reckon there's still some script work to be done while that film's star moves forward on finishing what he has left on a certain Marvel flick coming next year.

At any rate, those aforementioned casting troubles regarding Aladdin came to a halt on Saturday at D23 Expo with the announcement of newcome actor Mena Massoud for the coveted title character. The original 1992 animated film sees our tale set in the fictional city of Agrabah where an adventure of love, swashbuckling heroics and magic await a street urchin who discovers a mystical lamp and its residing genie who grants him three wishes.

Massoud will also reportedly join actress Naomi Scott playing Princess Jasmine following her recent starring role in Dean Isrealite's Power Rangers, and actor Will Smith who will play Genie, once previously held in iconic fashion by the late great Robin Williams. The role of the villainous Jafar is expected to be cast in due time, as well as those of Sultan and Iago.

Dan Lin will produce under vhis Lin Pictures banner with Jonathan Eirich executive producing, and producer Marc Platt and longtime Disney veteran Chris Montan acting as consultants. Aladdin begins filming in London next month. (THR)


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