In the 5th grade I played the role of the Sultan in our school’s musical performance of Aladdin. I had tried out for the part of Aladdin, but wasn’t spry enough to run, jump, tuck and roll as the street rat. Still, that musical is one of the most memorable times in my childhood—plus I looked fierce in my little 10-year-old turban and that silk costume would have given you life!
Needless to say, Aladdin has a special place in my heart and I have been anticipating the live action movie since its announcement. There has been lots of controversy around the casting of the next installment of live action Disney because of the lack of diversity during the process. Now the roles of Aladdin, Jasmine and the beloved Genie are official since the announcement at this weekend’s D23 Expo. The casting still has fans questioning if the actors are right for the roles. Many don’t feel the cast will portray the Middle Eastern culture appropriately. Others feel the part of Genie is also a hard sell.
Here they are–what do you think?
The starring role of Aladdin will be played by Canadian newcomer Mena Massoud who until now has only had supporting roles on the small screen.
Aladdin’s counterpart Jasmine will be portrayed by Naomi Scott who most recently gave us some Pink Ranger realness in the Power Rangers movie.
The most shocking and interesting casting choice is Will Smith in the role of the genie. Who could forget Robin Williams’ unforgettable voice acting in Disney’s 1992 animated film. His talent for voices, comedy, and personality created most of the memorable moments in the film. Will Smith definitely has some major shoes to fill here—can he do it?
Still no word on who will come on as Jafar and the Sultan (he’s everyone’s favorite, right?). We’ll be waiting, Guy Ritchie.