Last week, we reported that Guy Ritchie and his live-action Aladdin team were struggling to find the perfect candidates to fill the shoes of the street rat and the princess. Well, the Twitter trolls seem to have shifted Guy into gear, and they have FINALLY found their leads. Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott will soon be landing themselves the keys for their magic carpet.
The news comes only days after it became common knowledge that casting directors for the new movie had screen-tested over 2000 actors for the lead roles – with many people on Twitter and fan sites pointing them in the direction of names like Riz Ahmed, Dev Patel, and Jade Thirwall. However, the Aladdin production team seem to have found their own way to Agrabah.
Disney announced the final casting roles at D23 at the weekend, confirming that Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott will join Will Smith (the Genie) in the new movie. But who are they?
Well, despite Ritchie wanting an ‘unknown’ for the role of Aladdin, he hasn’t really got that in Massoud. Although he hasn’t taken over the world of acting just yet, Massoud isn’t exactly like you and I (no offense). Born in Egypt and raised in Canada, Mena currently stars in the popular Amazon TV series, Jack Ryan as Tarek Kassar. He has also starred in the teen drama ‘Open Heart’ and appeared in the movie, ‘Strange but True.’
Naomi Scott, however, is a little more well-known than Massoud – considering she starred in the recent Power Rangers movie. You’ll probably recognize Scott as the face of Kimberly, the Pink Power Ranger (because how else can you distinguish the Power Rangers?!) She has also appeared in the TV show, The 33, as well as the relatively short-lived show, Terra Nova. Alongside this, Scott has also begun a career in music, releasing her own EP last year. And you know, singing is a fairly big part of Aladdin, so she ticks all of the boxes.
Filming for the new live-action Aladdin is set to begin in August, and we can’t wait to see what these two bring to the table!