Disney's had a string of hits with live-action remakes of their animated classics. The Jungle Book was an Oscar winner, and Beauty and the Beast is the biggest movie of 2017 so far. Next up is Aladdin, my personal favorite from their late '80s/early '90s renaissance.
Production is underway in London, with the cast finally in place. Will Smith will take over for Robin Williams' iconic performance, with Mena Massoud in the title roll. Naomi Scott (Power Rangers) will play Jasmine and Nasim Pedrad (Saturday Night Live) will play her handmaiden. David Neghaban (Homeland) as the Sultan, with Marwan Kenzari (Murder on the Orient Express) stars as the villainous Jafar. Billy Magnussen (Into the Woods) was announced this week as a new character, Prince Anders.
Aladdin is directed by Guy Ritchie (Snatch, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) with a screenplay by John August (Dark Shadows, Big Fish). Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken returns as composer, with new songs by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Broadway's Dear Evan Hansen), in addition to the classic songs by Tim Rice and Howard Ashman.