Disney finds its Aladdin and Jasmine for musical remake

Egyptian actor to play Aladdin in hotly anticipated Disney remake
2 min read
16 Jul, 2017
Disney's hotly anticipated of Arabian folk tale Aladdin has moved a step closer to the final cut, following the announcement of the three lead roles including a little-known Egyptian actor.
The remake has been eagerly anticipated by Aladdin fans [Getty]
Disney's adaption of Arabian folk tale Aladdin will see a little-known Egyptian actor play the title role in one of the most hotly-anticipated Hollywood films this year.

Mena Massoud will play Aladdin in the remake of the 1992 musical animation, while Hollywood A-lister Naomi Scott will play his romantic counterpart Princess Jasmine.

Hollywood legend Will Smith will play the Genie - voiced in the 1992 animation by Robin Williams - while Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels' Guy Ritchie will direct the film.

Disney have stayed true to their word with the choice of Massoud for the lead role, after promising [at least, unofficially] to find an Aladdin from the Middle East.

The long search for the right actor was criticised by Arab actors and filmmakers who said there are countless thespians from the Middle East and India hungry for the role, according to the BBC.

In March, a casting call came out looking for actors to play Aladdin and Jasmine, with Disney reminding applicants "These characters are Middle Eastern".

Egyptian-born Masood is relatively unknown in Hollywood, but has played roles in US TV series Open Heart and Jack Ryan.

Masood appears to be savouring the chance of making it to Hollywood's elite according to his latest tweet.

"So honoured and grateful for the opportunity to help bring this magical story to life once again. Let's get to work!"