As of now, casting for Disney’s live-action adaptation of Aladdin is finally coming together, despite previous behind-the-scene delays. Alongside Will Smith providing his voice to the iconic Genie, director Guy Ritchie has finally found his lead actors for Aladdin and Princess Jasmine in Mena Massoud and Power Rangers’ Naomi Scott. Now, it would appear that Ritchie is closer to finding the next important role in his film: the devious, mustache-twirling antagonist Jafar.
According to Hollywood Reporter, Dutch-Tunisian actor Marwan Kenzari is currently in negotiations to play the Royal Vizier of Agrabah, an advisor to the Sultan. Since this Aladdin will be taking direct inspiration from the 1992 animated film, it can be presumed that Jafar’s motivation will remain the same: obtain the Genie’s lamp and use his magic to gain absolute power. However, the movie will also be taking cues from the many folktales of One Thousand and One Nights, suggesting some new additions to the plot.
Another addition to the Aladdin cast is former Saturday Night Live comedian Nasim Pedrad, whose role was created specifically for upcoming movie. Petrad will be playing Mara, a handmaiden of Jasmine’s whose role has been described as a comedic supporting character. No further information has been given regarding her role in the story.
Kenzari’s previous roles include the 2016 remake of Ben-Hur, Universal’s The Mummy and the upcoming Netflix film What Happened to Monday. His most recent performance will be in Kenneth Branagh’s remake of Murder on the Orient Express, based on the novel by Agatha Christie.