'Aladdin': Disney Remake Finds Its Leads

Will Smith in London on Dec. 15, 2016.
David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

Will Smith in London on Dec. 15, 2016. 

Relative newcomer Mena Massoud and Power Rangers star Naomi Scott have booked a flight on a magic carpet ride.  

Massoud has secured the coveted role of Aladdin while Scott will be playing Jasmine in the Guy Ritchie-directed Aladdin movie. The announcement came at D23 Saturday (July 15). The duo join the only other talent cast for the Disney musical, Will Smith, who will be playing the Genie. 

The casting news comes days after The Hollywood Reporter looked into the months-long search for the leads, which included casting directors stationed in multiple countries and testing over 2,000 actors of the roles. While there was interest in names like Dev Patel and Riz Ahmed, Disney ultimately went with an unknown to play their Prince Ali.

Dan Lin, who worked with Ritchie on Sherlock Holmes, is producing via his Lin Pictures banner, with Jonathan Eirich acting as executive producer. Producer Marc Platt, who worked on Disney’s upcoming Mary Poppins Returns, and Chris Montan, a longtime executive music producer for Disney’s animated projects from Pocahontas and Frozen, are both consulting on the ambitious project.

Aladdin is set to begin shooting in August in London. Disney is currently on the hunt for villain Jafar, who will likely be played by a name actor. Other roles yet to be filled include the Sultan and Jafar's sidekick Iago. 

Aladdin will be the latest installment in Disney's long-line of lucrative live-action adaptations of their classic animations, which include the upcoming Mulan movie, from director Niki Caro, and Jon Favreau's Lion King.

Massoud is part of the cast of Amazon's Jack Ryan series starring John Krasinski, and previously appeared in the TeenNick series Open Heart. He is repped by The Characters Talent Agency and Stokes Management.

Scott has also appeared in the film The 33 and the series Terra Nova. She is repped by WME, United Agents and Echo Lake Entertainment.

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