So don't make it? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney and director Guy Ritchie are running down the clock to find the right two leads for a live-action version of "Aladdin." Stars from Riz Ahmed to Dev Patel were reportedly considered (and dismissed) after a global casting call was launched in March, and around 2,000 stars read for the roles of Aladdin and Jasmine.
The original casting call said shooting was planned "from July 2017 to January 2018, in the U.K., with rehearsals beginning in April." But it's now July and the search is still ongoing, with filming now meant to start in August.
THR said the male lead will likely be a newcomer, because "finding a male lead in his 20s who can act and sing has proven difficult — especially since the studio wants someone of Middle-Eastern or Indian descent (the animated film is set in the fictional Middle Eastern city of Agrabah)." It's not so easy to find a diamond in the rough!
One agent whose client tested said "the test process was a mess," with several rounds of tests in London, and actors coming in for up to two weeks at a time. Sources said the newcomers still being considered for Aladdin include Dutch actor Achraf Koutet, Canadian actor Mena Massoud, and American George Kosturos. In terms of Jasmine, sources told THR that "Power Rangers" actress Naomi Scott and Indian actress Tara Sutaria are in the running, but they can't lock in the lady lead until the male lead has been cast, since that chemistry is so vital.
One role that has already been locked in is the Genie, who'll be played by Will Smith. (Robin Williams famously voiced the genie in the 1992 animated movie.) THR's sources said Disney is also after "known names" to fill the role of Jafar.
THR found a positive note on the lengthy search, saying it's a sign that they're determined to get the casting right, as they did in the past when extended searches led to Lily James for Cinderella and Daisy Ridley for Rey.
Twitter is now trying to help Disney by suggesting actors for the roles.
"Aladdin" filming is now planned to start in August.
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