Disney recently announced that they will remake many of their beloved classics into Live Action films. "Cinderella" and "Beauty and the Beast" kicked off the highly anticipated series of remakes and were largely successful. Although, some fans were disappointed in the casting of Emma Watson as Belle due to her singing ability. This time around, Disney's casting call made one very specific request - "Must be able to sing." Will Smith was previously cast to play Genie. However, the leading roles of the lovebirds Aladdin and Jasmine proved exceptionally hard to cast.

Meet Aladdin

Disney's casting call for the live action remake of "Aladdin" was open to all. Over 2,000 actors read for the parts in the Los Angeles, London, Egypt, Abu Dhabi, and Indian, but the producers still had a hard time choosing the perfect match.

They finally decided on an unknown Canadian actor of Egyptian descent, Mena Massoud. He was born in Egypt but raised in Ontario in a Coptic Orthodox family.

He studied Theatre and Acting at Ryerson University. Director Guy Ritchie, scriptwriter John August, and producer Jonathan Eirich wanted to find an Aladdin who had good on-screen chemistry with the leading lady. Essentially, they were looking "a diamond in the rough." The casting process took several months, and the production date had to be pushed back.

Meet Jasmine

Naomi Scott, a British actress of Indian descent, has been cast as Princess Jasmine. She starred in the recent "Power Rangers" film as the Pink Ranger, Kimberly. Her father is British, and her mother is of Indian descent from Uganda. She started singing in church from a young age.

Now, she will have the chance to showcase her vocal ability as the sharp-tongued, independent Princess of Agrabah in the upcoming remake of Disney's "Aladdin."

Origins of the Story

The city of Agrabah will draw inspiration from the Middle East, India, and even China. The original story of Aladdin can be found in "A Thousand and One Nights." This collection of Middle Eastern stories is sometimes referred to as "Arabian Nights." The short story of Aladdin was told by Scheherazade to the insane King in order to keep him from murdering her in her sleep.

Each night, she would orate a new story to him, leaving off at just the right cliffhanger to keep him wanting more.

Disney took on the tale in the 1992 animated version known as "Aladdin." This heartwarming musical was the number one movie that year. Robin Williams voiced Genie, and the world famous singer Lea Salonga was the musical talent behind Jasmine. There seems to be a lot of pressure riding on this film.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!
Click to read more