After weeks of controversy over who Disney might cast in its latest “Aladdin” movie, the studio announced it had found its cast members.

“Mena Massoud will play Aladdin,” Walt Disney Studios production manager Sean Bailey announced at the D23 Expo, Saturday, July 15.

According to Sean Bailey, Naomi Scott will play Princess Jasmine, and Will Smith will portray Genie. Mena Massoud, who first rose to prominence with his incredible work in Amazon’s “Jack Ryan” series, was born and raised in Canada. His mother was an Egyptian, while his father was a Canadian.

Noami Scott, on the other hand, was recently seen in the “Power Rangers” reboot. She has also worked in “The 33,” “Lemonade Mouth,” and “Terra Nova.”

Disney finally finds its main characters

A few months ago, rumors surfaced online that Will Smith would play Genie, but Disney did not confirm anything. And now, it is official that Will Smith will portray Genie, a character which was previously played by Robin Williams.

“Sherlock Holmes” director Guy Ritchie is set to produce and direct “Aladdin.” A report by Hollywood Life revealed that Guy Ritchie auditioned thousands of actors and actresses from the Middle East, China, India, and England.

He wanted the stars to be good at singing, and acting. Not only will the movie be a significant influence, but the story will go back to the classic Arabic folktale of “One Thousand And One Nights,” The Hollywood Reporter reports.

The news outlet also claimed that Dwayne Johnson was in talks with Guy Ritchie for the character of Genie, but he could not give proper dates, so Guy and Disney confirmed Will Smith for this role.

The shooting to begin soon

A separate report by Independent UK revealed that “Aladdin” would start shooting in August in Manchester and London. Disney is reportedly looking for a newcomer to portray villain Jafar. Other characters yet to be filled are Sultan and Iago.

The 1992 movie featured Scott Weinger as Aladdin, Robin Williams as Genie, Jonathan Freeman as Jafar, Linda Larkin as Jasmine, Frank Welker as Abu, Gilbert Gottfried as Iago, and Douglas Seale as Sultan.

It was directed by John Musker and produced by Ron Clements, based on the Arab-style folktale Aladdin and the Magic Lamp from “One Thousand and One Nights.”

The original movie received various awards and nominations, including three Academy Awards and two Golden Globes. Do you think the new movie will break records of the previous blockbuster? Do not forget to share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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