Today marks the start of production for Disney’s latest live-action flick, Aladdin. The film stars Mena Massoud as the title character who falls in love with the Sultan’s daughter, Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott). As with nearly all the live-action adaptations that Disney has released so far, you can expect Aladdin to stay true to the spirit of the animated original while also adding in a few contemporary elements so that it can connect to a new audience.
One of those elements is Will Smith, who will play the iconic Genie, a magical being who grants Aladdin three wishes after he frees him from his lamp imprisonment. Now with production in full swing, Smith has released a brand new photo of himself, Massoud, Scott, and Marwan Kenzari who’s playing Jafar. Check out the image below.
Directed by Guy Ritchie, the film follows a trend of hits released by Disney that include Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book, Cinderella, and Maleficient. Upcoming live-action tellings include Mulan, The Lion King, and more.
The film also stars 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. No word yet if Ritchie is looking for someone to fill the role of Iago, Jafar’s loudmouth wisecracking parrot. But the press release that came with the photo says that the casting is complete. So we probably won’t see him.
Eight-time Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid) provides the score, which includes new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Oscar-winning lyricists Howard Ashman (Little Shop of Horrors) and Tim Rice (The Lion King) as well as two new songs written by Menken and Oscar and Tony Award-winning songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land, Dear Evan Hansen).
Aladdin does not have a release date as of yet, but we will keep you posted as soon as an announcement is made.