Disney’s Live-Action ‘Aladdin’ Casts ‘Murder On the Orient Express’ Star as Jafar
According to a recent LOL-worthy rumor, Guy Ritchie was eyeing Tom Hardy to play Jafar in his live-action remake of Aladdin, but today’s news will give your eyes a much-needed break from all that rolling: Disney has not only lined up a different actor for the role of the sinister villain in the upcoming live-action reimagining of their animated classic, but they’ve added a former SNL favorite to the cast, as well.
THR reports that Marwan Kenzari is in talks to play Jafar in Disney’s live-action remake of Aladdin, which will be directed by Guy Ritchie from a script by John August (Big Fish). SNL alum Nasim Pedrad has also signed on, and is set to play a new character created specifically for the film. Kenzari is a Dutch actor of Tunisian descent whose credits include recent films like The Mummy and Kenneth Branagh’s forthcoming remake of Murder On the Orient Express — which, per THR, likely boasts a breakthrough performance from Kenzari.
Following an exhaustive worldwide casting search, the ensemble for Aladdin is slowly coming together: Mena Massoud will play the titular role of the streetwise pauper who pretends to be a wealthy prince in order to win the affections of Princess Jasmine, to be played by Power Rangers star Naomi Scott. Pedrad has been cast as Mara, Jasmine’s handmaiden and close friend. Rounding out the lineup is Will Smith as Genie, the role previously made iconic by the late Robin Williams in Disney’s 1992 animated classic.
The live-action Aladdin remake does not yet have a release date.