Canadian actor Mena Massoud has been cast in the title role of Disney’s live-action remake of “Aladdin.”
Disney also announced that Massoud’s co-stars will be Naomi Scott as Jasmine and Will Smith as the Genie. The film will be directed by Guy Ritchie, who most recently directed “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.”
Mena Massoud announced as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Jasmine, and Will Smith as Genie in live-action Aladdin! #D23Expo— Disney (@Disney) July 15, 2017
Massoud was born in Egypt but grew up in Markham, Ont., attending Ryerson University’s School of Performance, studying theatre and acting. He is best known for his television roles in “Open Heart” and “Saving Hope” and will be in the small screen version of “Jack Ryan.”
Following the announcement, Massoud tweeted, “So honored & grateful for the opportunity to help bring this magical story to life once again.”
Disney’s animated feature “Aladdin” was released in 1992, starring Robin Williams as the voice of the Genie, Scott Weinger as Aladdin and Linda Larkin as Jasmine.
Fans on Twitter reacted positively to Massoud to the casting.
I don't know who he is but he's Arab so I'm happy they cast him as Aladdin. AN UNKNOWN IS WHAT I BEEN BEGGING FOR. pic.twitter.com/qxm8a8x2zC— Jumah (@WokeMutant) July 15, 2017
I'm glad Mena Massoud an actual Arab is playing Aladdin— Ishaan (@ishinii) July 16, 2017
The announcement was made at Disney’s D23 Expo in Anaheim.