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Casting Call: Aladdin

Following his successful run on The Night Of, and his action roles in this summer's Jason Bourne and the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Riz Ahmed would be an excellent choice to play the quick-on-his-feet, street urchin-turned-prince charming Aladdin in Guy Ritchie's dramatic remake. The actor is also a rapper (he has a hip-hop duo with Das Racist's Heems). Could a hip-hop twist on "A Whole New World" be in order?   



Aladdin's Jasmine has always strayed from the princess stereotype. She's independent, free-spirited, smart, and often stubborn when it comes to ruling her kingdom and getting what she wants. A serious actress would be required to adequately fill the role of the strong-minded princess, and we think Homeland's Nazanin Boniadi would be the perfect fit. 



Jafar, the wicked and power-hungry Grand Vizier of Agrabah, is perhaps the calmest villain of all of the Disney animated films, making him all the more scarier. Ghassan Massoud has experience playing darker characters in action films. In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Massoud's character, Captain Ammand, even sported a mustache quite similar to Jafar's. We can certainly picture him playing the part of Aladdin's enemy. 



When the Aladdin reboot was first announced there was one enormous question weighing on every Disney fan: Who will replace Robin Williams? The late actor won over Aladdin's original audiences, playing the part of the exuberant and happy-go-lucky Genie. We cannot expect any film actor to properly play the Genie and replace such a comedic acting legend. Therefore, we decided that the current Genie in ALADDIN on Broadway, James Monroe Iglehart, would be the best option. Iglehart has already done the part justice—he won the 2014 Tony Award for his performance. 



Though ruling Agrabah in the world of Aladdin is a solemn task, the character of Jasmine's father, the Sultan, is far from serious. He is a complete foil to his daughter, as a playful and often childish character whose gullibility puts his kingdom in danger. Sayed Badreya has comedy-acting experience, and having appeared in films such as The Dictator, he's proven that he is capable of being silly and making fun of himself. 



Iago is Jafar's cunning and vocal parrot sidekick with a signature squawking speech. We expect the live-action parrot to need an actor with real voiceover skills, and Andy Serkis certainly has the experience. The voice of Gollum and King Kong can surely formulate a new voice for the outspoken, evil Iago.