Casting In Place For Disney’s Live-Action Aladdin
Splashinians, whether you’re a fan of Aladdin, or a fan of Will Smith, you’re probably saddened by this new interpretation of Aladdin we’re about to see. Look, yes, I’m pretty strong in my opinions. And, yes, a lot of them are formed before I’ve really given something a chance. What? Does that make me some kind of monster? I’d like to walk through some of the casting for this film just to highlight what I think will be a horrid mistake for Disney. Here we go, my writing will be in Bold, not Bold + Italics.
Casting for “Aladdin,” the live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic, is complete and production is currently underway at Longcross Studios outside London. Gross, London… I’m kidding! Love you guys across the pond.
The Aladdin cast includes: Two-time Oscar® nominee Will Smith (Ali, Men in Black wait, was he nominated for Men in Black? It was Concussion right? But, no one saw Concussion so it’s better to go with MiB) as the Genie who has the power to grant three wishes to whoever possesses his magic lamp; Mena Massoud (Amazon’s Jack Ryan Feels weird finding out about this show right now, right here) as Aladdin, the hapless but lovable street rat who is smitten with the Sultan’s daughter; Naomi Scott (Power Rangers) as Princess Jasmine do people still say “Owww?” Whatever I said it, 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 just googled Mr. Kenzari, not evil looking enough my man, he’s going to have to sit in makeup forever to get those Eartha Kitt sunken eyes, 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 Notice they didn’t credit her with Mulaney, am I the only one that remembers that show?!) 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. Did anyone else read that last part? No mention of Iago but we’ve got Prince Anders and Jafar’s handmaiden to get to know. Gives me an idea of just how much might be changed from the animated classic.
Aladdin is directed by Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Is this why they’re filming in London???) from a screenplay by John August (Dark Shadows, Big Fish One of these is awesome, the other is Dark Shadows) based on the 1992 animated film Aladdin and stories from One Thousand and One Nights aha! here’s the “in” for these new changes. The producer is Dan Lin (The LEGO Movie) with Golden Globe® winner Marc Platt (La La Land), Jonathan Eirich (Deathnote sidebar: movie on Netflix is awesome sauce) and Kevin De La Noy (The Dark Knight Rises) serving as executive producers.
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 shoutout to Rick Moranis) 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). In what world does anyone care this much about the music? People don’t even care this much for Hamilton.
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