Mena Massoud to Play 'Aladdin' Following Casting Drama

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Who would you like to see play Jafar in Disney's live action Aladdin? While the studio reportedly had several actresses in mind for Jasmine (including the victor Naomi Scott), Disney apparently struggled to cast Aladdin. Will Smith, as previously announced, will take on the voice of the Genie. Ritchie did not confirm or deny the rumor when he was asked in May about Smith's alleged role, E! Smith's casting, of course, was originally revealed back in April, but this is the first time Disney has confirmed the news. Guy Ritchie will direct the movie, which will be Disney's follow-up to the live-action hit Beauty and the Beast.

Massoud is a Canadian actor whose credits include the series "Jack Ryan", "Open Heart" and "Saving Hope". The role was made famous by the late Robin Williams who voiced the hilarious character.

Following an extensive search that saw Ritchie and Disney screen test over 2,000 actors, the studio has landed on Mena Massoud to star in the titular role.

Names including Massoud's, Achraf Koutet and George Kosturos were among those circulating the internet for weeks prior to Disney's announcement.

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'There have been conversations and, although nothing is set in stone and things are subject to change, he's certainly one of Guy's favoured choices.

Following the adventures of the street rat, the story is based on a Middle Eastern folk tale of Aladdin who is granted three wishes by a genie who is captive inside a magic lamp.

The Aladdin movie was originally slated to begin production in July, but the start of filming has been moved to August due to casting delays.

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