Disney and Will Smith shared the first photo of the cast of Aladdin, the upcoming live-action adaptation of the classic animated film. Will Smith’s selfie features his fellow cast members Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, and Marwan Kenzari. John August (Big Fish, Frankenweenie) penned the screenplay and Guy Ritchie (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword) is directing the action adventure film which brings Disney’s animated classic to life. Production is currently taking place at Longcross Studios outside London.
Disney confirmed the cast and released very brief character descriptions:
The Aladdin cast includes two-time Oscar® nominee Will Smith (Ali, Men in Black) as the Genie who has the power to grant three wishes to whoever possesses his magic lamp; Mena Massoud (Amazon’s Jack Ryan) as Aladdin, the hapless but lovable street rat who is smitten with the Sultan’s daughter; Naomi Scott (Power Rangers) as Princess Jasmine, the Sultan’s beautiful daughter who wants to have a say in how she lives her life; Marwan Kenzari (Murder on the Orient Express) as Jafar, an evil sorcerer who devises a nefarious plot to unseat the Sultan and rule Agrabah himself; Navid Negahban (Homeland) as the Sultan, the ruler of Agrabah who is eager to find a proper husband for his daughter, Jasmine; Nasim Pedrad (Saturday Night Live) as Dalia, Princess Jasmine’s hand maiden and confidante; Billy Magnussen (Into the Woods) as Prince Anders, a suitor from Skanland and potential husband for Princess Jasmine; and Numan Acar (Homeland) as Hakim, Jafar’s right-hand man and head of the palace guards.
Dan Lin (The Lego Movie) is producing and Marc Platt (La La Land), Jonathan Eirich (Deathnote) and Kevin De La Noy (The Dark Knight Rises) are on board as executive producers. Alan Menken, who won Oscars for the animated Aladdin’s “A Whole New World” and for the film’s score, is in charge of the score which will feature new recordings of the animated classic’s original songs he wrote with Oscar-winning lyricists Howard Ashman (Little Shop of Horrors) and Tim Rice (The Lion King). Menken will be teaming up with Oscar winners Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land) to write two new songs specifically for the live-action film.
Disney has not yet set a release date. The animated film opened in theaters in 1992 and earned five Academy Award nominations, winning two. Ron Clements and John Musker co-directed the critically acclaimed film which featured the voices of Robin Williams as the Genie, Scott Weinger as Aladdin, Linda Larkin as Princess Jasmine, and Gilbert Gottfried as Iago.