Though it is still in the very early days of development, Guy Ritchie‘s adaptation of Walt Disney’s animated hit, Aladdin, is coming along very nicely. While at the D23 Expo, it was announced that Egypt-born, Canada-raised Mena Massoud, and Power Rangers star Naomi Scott, would play Aladdin and Princess Jasmine, respectively. Will Smith, who was previously reported to be in talks to voice Genie, would also be confirmed for the cast.
Now the cast grows by adding two new actors. Dutch-Tunisian actor Marwan Kenzari is in talks to play Jafar, the scheming advisor to the Sultan, and SNL‘s Nasim Pedrad will join the cast as a new character created for the film. More on the story below.
The Hollywood Reporter was the first to break the news. According to them, Kenzari is still in negotiations to play the role. Pedrad is also in talks to join the film, but as a new character specifically made for this film. She will play Mara, a handmaiden and friend to Jasmine. The part is described as a comedic supporting role.
Kenzari isn’t a household name, but he has been in a handful of remakes that you might have seen him in. He had a role in this year’s remake of The Mummy and will have another role in the mega-ensemble murder mystery remake of Murder On The Orient Express. As for Pedrad, you might have seen her in plenty of SNL skits. Some of her most notable celebrity impressions include Kim Kardashian, Arianna Huffington, Aziz Ansari, and Shakira.
While the live-action adaptation will draw inspiration from its animated predecessor, the film will also be inspired by the folk tales in One Thousand and One Nights. In the original animated film, Jafar sought to take over Agrabah by using the powers of the magic lamp to oust the Sultan and make his daughter, Princess Jasmine, his wife. Jafar also had a parrot who assisted in his schemes, though it remains to be seen if Ritchie will have him in the film. Jonathan Freeman voiced the Jafar in the animated film.
Ritchie directs using a script penned by Big Fish scribe John August. Dan Lin will produce.
No word yet on when Disney will release the film. But we will be sure to keep you up to date when that announcement is made.
[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]