So, will Aladdin have to rub a closet door in order to summon him?
Live-action remakes of beloved animated films make bank, so pretty much all of Disney’s properties are being redone with humans. A Guy Ritchie-directed, live-action adaption of Aladdin is coming at you across the desert sands. The magic carpet (and Jasmine’s harem pants) will probably be CGI, but everyone else will have a pulse! Two relative unknowns (who will get paid dick because they’re newbies) have been cast as star-crossed lovers Aladdin and Jasmine. They obviously cast two nobodies who they don’t have to pay that much, so they can cover The Fresh Prince’s assuredly exorbitant salary. Will Smith has definitively signed on to play the Genie. Someone in Movie Star Heaven give Robin Williams a hug. I’m looking at you, Princess Leia.
The Hollywood Reporter sez that Will is the only name-brand cast so far. Established types like Dev Patel and Riz Ahmed were considered to play the Aladdin character. But after auditioning over 2000 actors on multiple continents, they went with Mena Massoud. (Who? Exactly.) Jasmine will be played by actress Naomi Scott. The most impressive credit on her IMDB page is having starred in the Power Rangers movie. Honestly, Will is probably making $50 million, so these two are going to get paid in Wendy’s gift certificates and a free copy of the Blu-Ray when it comes out.
The big announcement was made at the D23 Expo, which is Disney’s big preview weekend where they show off all of the blockbusters that they’re working on. Aladdin is set to start filming in August in London. The vitally important roles of the villain Jafar and his squawking parrot sidekick Iago (voiced in the animated version by abrasive comedian Gilbert Gottfried) have yet to be cast. Why not him, again? Poor Gilbert Gottfried. At least Robin’s excuse for not being cast is that he’s not with us on earth anymore.