After a months long search, filmmaker Guy Ritchie and Disney Pictures are reportedly struggling to find actors to fill the lead roles in its live-action adaptation of their classic 1992 animated film “Aladdin” says Heat Vision.
The studio and Ritchie launched a global casting call in March to find the stars for the musical about a street kid who teams with a genie to woo the princess Jasmine.
Reportedly around 2,000 actors and actresses have read for the lead roles of Jasmine and Aladdin, but finding a male lead of Middle-Eastern or Indian descent in his 20s who can act and sing has apparently proven difficult.
In fact it has been hard enough that the original July start of production date has been pushed back to next month with Disney and Ritchie having to go back to the drawing board multiple times. Sources for the trade say there has been several rounds of tests in London, actors coming in for up to two weeks at a time to test.
The studio is said to be eyeing either “Power Rangers” actress Naomi Scott or Indian actress Tara Sutaria to play Jasmine, but won’t lock down a deal until the male lead has been selected as chemistry is important to the story.
The studio was said to be interested in Dev Patel and Riz Ahmed, but the male lead will likely be a newcomer with Dutch actor Achraf Koutet, Canadian actor Mena Massoud and American George Kosturos all said to still be in the running.
Will Smith has signed on to play the Genie, and sources say the studio is after known names for the role of the villain Jafar. At the same time the studio has brought on two movie-musical veterans to consult on the project: Marc Platt and Chris Montan.