Disney confirmed that Will Smith will portray the Genie in the upcoming live-action remake of Aladdin, with the actor taking over the voice role previously filled by Robin Williams in the 1992 animated film.
Following weeks of controversy and “whitewashing” rumors surrounding Disney over who they would recruit to play Aladdin in the Guy Ritchie-directed film, the company announced that newcomer Mena Massoud – an Egyptian-born Canadian actor who will appear in the upcoming Jack Ryan TV series – has been cast as the titular thief.
“So honored & grateful for the opportunity to help bring this magical story to life once again. Let’s get to work,” Massoud tweeted Saturday.
Actress Naomi Scott, recently seen in as the Pink Ranger in the Power Rangers reboot, will portray Princess Jasmine. Aladdin is expected to go into production in the coming months, with a 2019 release date planned.
In addition to the Aladdin casting, Disney’s D23 Expo revealed details regarding a plethora of upcoming projects, including a live-action Dumbo film helmed by Tim Burton and starring Colin Farrell, Michael Keaton, Eva Green and Danny DeVito.
The studio also reiterated plans for a Mulan live-action film as well as a movie based on their Jungle Cruise ride that starred Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. An early look at the Emily Blunt-starring Mary Poppins Returns was also unveiled, alongside a teaser trailer for A Wrinkle in Time and behind-the-scenes footage of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.