Director Guy Ritchie, still wounded after the dismal performance of his King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, is nevertheless charging once more into the creative breach with Disney's live-action Aladdin for 2018.
A villainous new casting choice was just announced by the studio, with Marwan Kenzari (The Mummy, Murder on the Orient Express) in final negotiations to portray the scheming Jafar in this fantasy spectacle based on the 1992 animated classic.
In further casting selections, ex-Saturday Night Live comedienne Nasim Pedrad has snagged a new role written specially for the upcoming feature. Pedrad's part will be for the comic-relief handmaiden and friend to Naomi Scott's princess Jasmine.
Kenzari and Pedrad will join Will Smith's headlining genie and Mena Massoud as the adventurous Aladdin, the poor street urchin who disguises himself as a prince to attract the affections of the alluring princess.
Kenzari's Jafar, one of the vilest villains in the Disney pantheon, has his cold heart set on usurping power from the sultan and employing the assistance of the genie. The diabolical Jafar was originally voiced to perfection by Jonathan Freeman in the animated film.
What do you think of these new casting picks, and does a live-action Aladdin have magical possibilities, or should it have stayed in its animated bottle?