Marwan Kenzari is in talks to join Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” remake as the villain Jafar, an individual with knowledge of the project tells TheWrap.
Johnathan Freeman voiced Jafar in 1992 original animated film.
Guy Ritchie is set to direct from a script by John August (“Big Fish”). Dan Lin (“Sherlock Holmes”) is producing; Jonathan Eirich is exec producing. Disney announced at the recent D23 Expo in Anaheim that Will Smith has officially been cast to play Genie.
Newcomers Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott will play Aladdin and his Arabian-princess love interest Jasmine, respectively. Massoud, who was born in Egypt and raised in Canada, is one of the stars of Amazon’s “Jack Ryan.” Scott, who is British and whose mother is from India, was most recently seen as the Pink Ranger in Lionsgate’s “Power Rangers.”
Walt Disney Studios’ President of Production Sean Bailey said that Ritchie’s film will draw influences from far more than just the 1992 animated film. It will also be inspired by cultures from the Middle East, India, and even China, and will also be based in part on the original Arabic tales from “One Thousand and One Nights.”
Kenzari’s recent credits include MGM’s “Ben-Hur” and Universal’s “The Mummy.” He’ll next be seen in Netflix’s action thriller “What Happened to Monday,” and 20th Century Fox’s remake of “Murder on the Orient Express.”
Kenzari is repped by ICM Partners and Janey van Ierland at Nummer19 Films in Holland