‘Aladdin’: Disney Casts Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott

Aladdin Disney
James Gourley/Jim Smeal/REX/Shutterstock/Facebook

Disney has officially found its Aladdin, Jasmine, and Genie for the live-action “Aladdin” remake. The three cast members were announced at the D23 Expo on Saturday.

The House of Mouse may have been having problems finding its titular Aladdin for the remake of the 1992 animated classic prior to D23 this weekend, but the same cannot be said for Jasmine and Genie. Naomi Scott has officially been cast as Princess Jasmine, while Will Smith will be taking on the Genie. Relative newcomer Mena Massoud has also joined the cast as Aladdin.


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Guy Ritchie was previously announced as director.

John August, whose credits include “Big Fish,” wrote the new “Aladdin” script. Dan Lin, who produced Ritchie’s two “Sherlock Holmes” movies for Warner Bros., is also producing “Aladdin” through his Lin Pictures company. Jonathan Eirich is exec producing.

The original animated movie was a comic take on the Arabic folk tale of a young man granted three wishes by a genie trapped in a lamp.

“Aladdin” was the highest-grossing film of the year in 1992, and won Academy Awards for best score and best song for “A Whole New World.”

Scott was most recently seen as the Pink Ranger in Saban’s “Power Rangers.” Smith can be seen next in Netflix’s fantasy actioner “Bright.” He is repped by CAA and Overbrook Entertainment.

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  1. Mr Jackpot says:

    Here comes all the SJWs and their stupid race issues on Hollywood films. Deepika Padukone looks more like Jasmine than Naomi Scott in my opinion plus she’s from Bollywood so she knows her thing.

  2. Danica Mckay says:

    I think that Avan Jogia would have been a better choice for aladdin..just my opinion.

  3. Margaret says:

    Look I like Will Smith even from his early stuff but I am worried about him playing the role of Genie. Its only because robin Williams left some big shoes to fill. To me robin will always be Genie (R.I.P) Anyways good Luck to Will Smith in this new role can’t wait to see what becomes of this.

  4. MelissaC says:

    I’d just like to say that I think everyone should stop judging who the cast is based on their ethnicity. If they picked the girl based on what she looks like and sounds like, then we could end up with the worst princess Jasmine ever. I’m sure that they are being thorough and choosing the best people for the roles. In Disney’s Lemonade Mouth, where I know Naomi Scott from, she was amazing in her role! (Which btw, was also a girl from a different ethnicity; she was Indian). She’s amazing, and I have total faith in her. And I cannot WAIT to see Will Smith in action as the Genie! He’ll do right by Robin Williams for sure. ❤️

    • Margaret says:

      I hope so, but your right he will do right by Robin Williams. I also agree with you about the actress Naomi Scott I have not seen her in much but she is a strong actress. As for the young Canadian star who is playing Aladdin i’m excited to see what he has got. Though I think the one thing that will make or brake the film is who they get for Jafar and how well they will mesh with the young Canadian and Will Smith. Sadly Jasmine didn’t have a lot of screen time in any of the Aladdin movies but who knows.

  5. Alexander says:

    Naomi Scott as Jasmine is the wrong choice. I’m sure they had plenty of great actresses that were more fit for the part but as usual money and power talks. Disney and Guy Ritchie had an amazing opportunity here for the casting of jasmine and the messed it up by giving Naomi the role. She doesn’t fit the part.

  6. Lucinder says:

    I never heard Emma Watson would make a bad belle I heard she would make a great Belle and she did. She’s not even a singer or professional singer but she still delivered and did great.

  7. I think she will do a great job in the roll.I mean honestly who do you think they would get,anyone even close would probably be to type cast.They thought emma would make a bad bell and the guy who played the beast as well and they were perfect.

  8. Jay says:

    Honest opinion here. I hope she does fantastic. I think she will do great in the roll. They needed someone with a specific skill set and she answered the call. I say either save the judgement until you see the movie or just don’t see the movie. Grow up, get over it.

    • Lucinder says:

      Yeah right, well her new Power Rangers film was crap and flopped! Her acting was terrible!! They white washed the role end off! There are plenty of actresses actually fit for the role and with even better specific skill sets, she does not fit the role!! she just had the right people pushing for her. Many people will not watch the movie!

  9. Valeriw says:

    Horrible casting… I thought they would look more like the cartoon… Smh….he doesnt evwn look like he can be a street rat or look tough enough to be aladdin

  10. MasterMike 000 says:

    Funny how majority of the people are crying and are acting like child because the actress who’s playing Jasmine is half white…and I’m here going crazy because Will Smith is going to be the Genie.

  11. TOM says:

    Give it up already! Those that are crying about the ethnicity of the roll player will probably insist she wear a burka, after all, it’s all about an Arabic woman and if any Arabic woman was ever spotted wearing what Jasmine is normally portrayed in, she’d be stoned to death in a heart beat. Let’s just call it poetic license.

  12. Thomas says:

    They should have gotten Jamie Costa as genie smh does a great impression of robin Williams!

  13. Joseph says:

    If you think the Aladdin cast is weak please sign the petition to recast thepetitionsite. com

  14. Lucinder Peters says:

    It’s so sad that Disney and Guy Ritchie and the casting team and Dan Lin have got people arguing and trying to justify their skin color or skin color in general, when people know what they have done is wrong for such an iconic movie! No one should have to justify that!!All this because of the mistake of casting a half Caucasian actress Naomi Scott for the iconic role!! In this day and age this is actually happening!! If they want to cast a maid or servant with a speaking bit here or there than they will by miracle find a 100% Middle Eastern or fully 100% acting studied Indian girl or woman be it born from anywhere, the U.K. Or the rest of the world!! Woman already have to fight more to get a fair chance and now this!!

  15. Lucinder Peters says:

    Very disappointed indeed in the casting of Jasmine !! Where do actual Actresses who have worked hard who have studied acting and who are fully Indian girls or Middle Eastern girls born from wherever it maybe, be it from the U.K. Or anywhere in the world, fit in? Can they get the role of Cinderella or Belle or Ariel? NO because those roles are for Caucasian girls. Disney have white washed!! It was bad enough seeing the prince of Persia with Gemma Arterton as the princess. And Dan Lin said it wanted to “make a movie authentic to the world”, and the casting of Naomi is authentic is a joke. The casting obviously didn’t cast or pay attention to authenticity. Too busy dealing with Naomi Scott or Jade!! Obviously Naomi Scott’s team pushed more for her with her power team!! And Dan Lin said he was “interested in discovering new people” well they let that one sly for the Jasmine role. They can bend the rules when it suits them. But can a Indian or Middle Eastern girl actually get the role of Ariel or Belle? NO Disney & casting would not let that happen. I have nothing but peace and love but this is wrong and not a true representation!!

  16. Caligula says:

    where da white people at???

  17. Arun says:

    Priyanka Chopra could have been the right choice as she looks very much like Jasmine, So what if she isn’t middle eastern? She’s a good actress and an experienced one, She’s very pretty as well. She could have pulled it off perfectly..

  18. Anna says:

    They should have chosen Tina Desai ( from sense 8 kala) to play jasmine, good actress from india and looks like jasmine

    • Anna says:

      Wait I guess Aladdin is from Arabia lol but the actress doesn’t look like jasmine :/ i wish they choose some actress from Arabia and that looks like her

  19. Lucinder Peters says:

    Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin film is going to be so crap and will flop like Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword film

  20. Sam says:

    I feel they could’ve definitely done better with the casting for Aladdin and Jasmine. A bit surprised from Disney, they usually get it so right!

  21. Lucinder Pin says:

    I know an actual full Indian Actress born and from the UK and with Middle Eastern roots and she did’nt even get seen and she actually did sing and was great and really worked hard for the role! It’s all politics and is wrong! there is no love for actually getting an authentic actress the part and an actual chance. The audition process was a nightmare, and obviously Naomi Scott’s team pushed her more with her power team behind her, and because she was in power rangers when Dan Lin the producer said they were interested in discovering new people! they just all lie and are deceiving!

  22. Lucy Pin says:

    Naomi Scott’s dad’s name is Christopher Scott who is British white

  23. Lucy W says:

    don’t call Naomi Scott British-Indian, her parents are not from India. I know plenty of people born in the UK And who are actually fully Indian, therefore BRITISH-INDIAN. Naomi Scott is half White or 75% white British. People have the right to be upset about Naomi Scott being cast as jasmine. They’re upset that they’re representation was taken away from them, and rightfully so upset. Disney, Dan Lin who promised to make this “movie authentic to the world”, might aswell casted Gemma Arteron from Prince of Persia. I don’t understand why Disney was making a big deal out of wanting the casting for Aladdin FILM to be perfect if they were gonna cast Naomi Scott anyway!

  24. Sven79 says:

    Shaq wasn’t available?

  25. Overit says:

    Oh yay! More white washing and another movie I won’t waste my money on or take my kids to see! Next Disney will remake the wiz with an all white cast!

  26. Jamin Green-Dollison says:

    Ok the Will Smith casting makes not one bit of sense. I mean WTF. Maybe he will pull it off….

  27. Allen says:

    What about Rahul Kohli as Jafar and Jimmy Fallon as Genie?

  28. Amy says:

    Woah I don’t get the hate towards Naomi Scott. She’s a pretty good actress. When I heard she was Jasmine, I thought ‘oh that’s not bad’. People complaining just because she’s only half Indian, but at least the girl can act. Will Smith, as the genie, though. Oh man. That made me cringe.

  29. Wilm Roget says:

    Will Smith hasn’t been funny in decades.

  30. Laura says:

    Will Smith is an awful choice! :( He’d be a beter Jafar than a Genie! I agree that Michael Keaton would have made a way better Genie! Or even Jack Black would have been better LOL.

    • David J. Page says:

      So hiring two white guys and making the black guy into the villain? YEah, that’ll be better…

      And can Keaton sing? I know Black can sing, but I don’t know if he could.

  31. Amy Miles says:

    Will Smith is a ridiculous choice! You need someone who can pull off the rapid fire humor like Chris Hart or what about Michael Keaton? His Beetlejuice was a similar style quick witted character the way he had off the cuff remarka and jokes!

  32. Anita says:

    Jasmine is the only Disney princess most Brown skinned young girls can relate to and they picked the whitest mildly ethnic looking girl to play her smh they might as well just have cast Emma Stone in a wig

    • Natasha Vaughan says:

      Well, maybe instead of focusing on the actress’s ethnicity instead of her talent, we should focus on teaching young girls that what matters is who they are on the inside and that they can relate to Jasmine by being independent, strong, and standing up for what they believe in. I understand what your saying but I truly hope we can reach a point in society when young girls can look up to anyone and strive to be anything no matter their nationality.

    • Ann says:

      Shes half british. Typical hollywood casting trend when it comes to casting minority characters and hiring biracial actresses to play the part. Its like they hire based on the one drop rule. it’s not the actress that I have a problem with but the trend and logic behind it.

  33. Gloria says:

    The only person that looks like Disney’s Aladdin is Avan Jogia . Disney really blew it for not casting him .

  34. Sean says:

    A bit sceptic on a good look-alike live-action remake….

  35. Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott could do a reboot of Friends not a child’s story of a 15 year old princess and a 18 year old hero. I can see Guy Richie throwing these two into a smoke filled bar. The movie was meant to be for kids. A disaster in the making.

  36. Aamir Khan says:

    They say, other than white no one should play Batman, Superman, Spiderman then why a white girl playing Jasmine (non white).

  37. Nas says:

    Horrible casting

  38. Meena Ansell says:

    ha ha ha he stole my name lol

  39. laura says:

    Someone with the looks of Shanina Shaik or Kim Kardashian (circa 2007) should have been casted. Girl is too white and plain. Indian is not Arab.

    • S. says:

      Kardashian as Jasmine? Hell no!!!!!!

    • Aamir Khan says:

      an Indian and an Arab looks similar but Naomi is a British white… She doesn’t look like indian or Arab

      • ComputerCyborg says:

        What??? No they don;t, lol. Arabs and Indians look nothing like. Most Arabs in my city are white and look more like Greek or Italian, while many Indians are dark skinned with ethnic features. Gotta love how people think Arabs and Indians are interchangeable and monoracial.

      • izzymehmet says:

        Naomi Scott is actually half Indian, at least they didn’t go for someone totally white, and she’s a great upcoming actress, I’m really excited to see it!

  40. Adam Poole says:

    seriously?.. will smith as the genie?.. gotta be a joke.. right?

  41. Amanda says:

    lol that guy is meant to be Aladdin?

  42. Jioy says:

    Disney please. Do not cast her for Jasmine. You all messed up Beauty and The Beast with the Harry Potter gal, don’t do it again. Jasmine was beautiful and brown.

  43. Adrian says:

    The couldn’t get Tituss Burgess to play the genie? Will Smith is not cut out for a role like this…they need someone with a slightly larger than life personality than his…

  44. Xanthe Lee Vinson says:

    The actor chosen for Aladdin looks more like a Jeffar than an Aladin
    …who casted this? And what are they on?

  45. Handsome Jack says:

    hahaha.. ‘Arabic folk tale’ – *ahem*

    The main frame story concerns Shahryār, whom the narrator calls a “Sasanian king” ruling in “India and China”.[6] He is shocked to learn that his brother’s wife is unfaithful; discovering that his own wife’s infidelity has been even more flagrant, he has her killed. In his bitterness and grief, he decides that all women are the same. Shahryār begins to marry a succession of virgins only to execute each one the next morning, before she has a chance to dishonour him. Eventually the vizier, whose duty it is to provide them, cannot find any more virgins. Scheherazade, the vizier’s daughter, offers herself as the next bride and her father reluctantly agrees. On the night of their marriage, Scheherazade begins to tell the king a tale, but does not end it. The king, curious about how the story ends, is thus forced to postpone her execution in order to hear the conclusion. The next night, as soon as she finishes the tale, she begins (and only begins) a new one, and the king, eager to hear the conclusion of this tale, postpones her execution once again. So it goes on for 1,001 nights.

    Somehow I don’t get the feeling this will be mentioned in its beautiful ‘Arabic’ history and will likely be muslim-washed

    • You just made a completely misleading comment. In the original 1001 nights, the main story certainly refers to “Sasanian king ruling over India and China”, however, this is just a FICTIONAL setting of the story. There has never been a king who has ruled over both India and China.The Sasanian empire had only ever extended eastwards towards Persia.

      The collection of stories in One Thousand and One Nights were compiled and written in Arabic during the Islamic golden age- it is widely regarded as the magnum opus of Arab Islamic golden age.

      The original Aladdin story itself did not appear in the original Arab folk tales and were only added in the 18th century by a French Orientalist. The story of Aladdin itself is set in Xinjiang- a predominantly Muslim region in China, which has a heavy Arab cultural influence.

      It doesn’t surprise me that you refuse to acknowledge the link between 1001 nights and Arabian culture, going as far as to use the term “muslim-washed” to deliberately misinform and mislead people. White people are well know to misappropriate other cultures and not credit them for their artistic contribution.

      The live-action film itself will based on the animated Disney film released in 1992, which greatly differs from the original story. The animated film is set in a fictional Arab town of Agrabah and makes references to Islamic culture, the first song within the film is Arabian nights.

      I so hope that the live action film maintains references to Arab/Islamic culture, since it clearly triggers people like you. I look forward to the triggering.

  46. laura says:

    This already sounds like a mess. Really that hard to find a middle eastern actress for Jasmine? Naomi Scott is half Indian half white. Kinda seems like Disney shrugged its shoulders and said, ‘this will have to work?’

    • Phillip says:

      The film hires 3 POC’s for its three main parts and people STILL complain? Not a single white actor and all the special snowflake, PC, White Knight, losers on the internet still act like the choices are bad? GO TO HELL. Seriously.

      Naomi Scott is a great actress that has a bright future. She can pull off this role easily. She was a great casting choice. All three roles are looking great right now.(Heck, even Will Smith as Genie isn’t a bad idea what-so-ever. It’s a comedic role and Will Smith pulls those kinds of roles off perfectly.)

      If this was a movie with mainly white characters and all of them were chanced to be POC, no one would complain. Everyone would be all “finally!!!! More POCs getting starring roles in hollywood.” give me a break.

      • laura says:

        They said they wanted to avoid whitewashing the film and pick someone of the correct ethnicity. Well, they didnt. She’s a POC who is half white, white passing. More so, she is half-Indian,not Arab! Not all people of color are the same. You cant lump all brown, non-white people into the same category. Disney knows what they are doing when they pick biracials as their female leads, they’re the ‘safe’ choice for the European market and if anyone complains about her not being Arab they can throw in the argument “but her mother is Indian”…blah, blah, blah. It doesn’t work that way for me. Missed opportunity to cast someone who is actually Arab. Find it hard to believe that in all the countries they searched she was the best choice. She’s rather plain to play Jasmine.

      • Handsome Jack says:

        Philip – there is no end for an Oroboros like the SJW snowflakes..

    • She is Middle Eastern… and she fits the part. There’s more that goes into casting than cultural appropriation (which she pretty much fits anyways). Grow up.

      • ComputerCyborg says:

        Annnnnd this is why so many idiots think Indians and Middle Easterns are one same racial group because Hollywood loves to slump and homogenize “brown” people as one group. We Indians have NOTHING in common with Arabs and look NOTHING like Arabs!

      • laura says:

        Since when is being Indian considered Middle Eastern? Two completely different looks. She is not middle eastern, she is half white and half Indian. I find it hard to believe they coudnt find a middle eastern girl to fit the part. They went with some white up and comer.

      • Mahira says:

        India’s not in the middle east?? And there are so many talented actresses from the ACTUAL middle east that could have filled the role, so people have a right to be upset. If you have an issue with people expressing an opinion perhaps you’re the one that needs to grow up.

    • benskelly2 says:

      OR…they just decided to hire the best actress for the part?? You know, for the sake of the movie? PC BS be dam*ed.

      • laura says:

        Oh please, doesn’t go both ways though. when Zendaya was rumored to be Mj in Spiderman people weren’t having it. Same thing when people mistakenly thought Ezra Miller was Asian when they first saw him as The Flash. Its okay to whitewash things but let it be the other way around and people will have a problem with it.

      • Brandon says:

        And I doubt if it was the “best actress for the part… PC bs” as you say. If that were the case they wouldn’t work so hard to miscast so many white people in roles they have no business trying to play. If it were true that everybody would be considered equally I would say PC is bs. But it isn’t. There is a white supremacist in the White House

  47. geri313 says:

    No matter the cast, Guy Ritchie will make yet another awful film. Cannot believe he’s directing this. I hope I’m wrong, but based upon his past atrocities I cannot see a good outcome here.

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