It's been 25 years since Disney released Aladdin, and soon fans of the animated classic will be treated to a live action remake, one of many re-tellings that the House of Mouse is pumping out. The project has already announced three of its actors: Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Jasmine and Will Smith as The Genie. Now Disney is eyeing Murder on the Orient Express star Marwan Kenzari to join the new Aladdin movie as Jafar.
Marwan Kenzari is currently in negotiations to join Aladdin as the main antagonist previously voiced by Jonathan Freeman in the animated movie. While Kenzari's Jafar deal isn't quite set in stone, THR also dropped the news that Saturday Night Live alum Nasim Pedrad has landed a comedic supporting role in the remake. Unlike the other actors, however, she will be playing a character that was specifically created for the new movie named Mara, who is the handmaiden and friend to Jasmine.
Marwan Kenzani has made the jump to Hollywood productions in the last several years, appearing in Collide, Ben-Hur, The Promise and The Mummy. He'll be seen this November playing Pierre Michel in Murder on the Orient Express. Being 34 years old, the Aladdin remake is clearly aiming for a younger Jafar, as opposed to having the sinister vizier being middle-aged like he was in the animated movie. Still, if he can act as intimidating and power hungry as the original Jafar, then we should be just fine in the villain department. Now we're waiting with more bated breath on who will voice this adaptation's Iago.
Nasim Pedrad was a Saturday Night Live cast member from 2009 to 2014, and since then she's appeared on TV shows like New Girl and Scream Queens, as well as lent her voice to the animated movies The Lorax and Despicable Me 2. Fun fact, Pedrad played Jasmine in SNL's "Real Housewives of Disney" sketch, and years later, now she gets to actually hang out in Agrabah. As for her character Mara, given that Jasmine was the only prominent female character in the original movie, throwing in a newcomer should be a welcome addition.
Like this year's Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin is expected to be a relatively straightforward remake of the animated movie, as opposed to being going in a significantly different creative direction like Maleficent did. However, the THR report did note that it will also take cues from other tales in One Thousand and One Nights.
Directed by The Man from U.N.C.L.E.'s Guy Ritchie and Game of Thrones' Vanessa Taylor handling the script rewrite, Aladdin doesn't have an announced release date, so keep checking back with CinemaBlend to see how the remake is progressing.