It’s no secret that Guy Ritchie has had a little trouble (understatement of the century) finding the perfect cast for his upcoming live-action remake of the Disney classic, Aladdin. Although casting Will Smith as the Genie seemed like an easy choice, Ritchie searched high and low, and across countries (you know, including Agrabah) to find his Aladdin and Jasmine. Luckily, Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott came to save the day in the knick of time to show us the world in all of its shining and shimmering splendor. And now, Ritchie has another actor to add to the mix – Marwan Kenzari.
Yep, Marwan Kenzari has been roped in to play the evil villain, Jafar – who appears in the movie as the grand vizier to the sultan of Agrabah. Despite the fact that we hate Jafar (I mean, he manipulates the adorable sultan, tries it on with Jasmine even though she doesn’t want him, tries to get Aladdin killed – multiple times – and we could just go on forever…) we actually think Kenzari could be the perfect addition to the movie. But who is he? We’ve got the ultimate low-down.
Marwan Kenzari is of Dutch-Tunisian descent and began his acting career in his native Netherlands from a young age, and considering he is fluent in Dutch, Arabic, English and French, he was snapped up by casting agents pretty quickly. However, it wasn’t until last year that Kenzari made his mark on Hollywood, after appearing in Ben-Hur as Druses. Kenzari soon charmed Hollywood casting directors with his handsome looks and equally handsome acting talent, and landed roles in Collide, The Promise, The Mummy, What Happened to Monday? And will soon be appearing in the eagerly anticipated Murder on the Orient Express as the train conductor, alongside Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Kenneth Branagh (who also directs), Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz, and more. So you could say he’s rolling with the big guys, now. And we can only imagine this role will thrust him even further into the Hollywood stratosphere.
As well as casting their Jafar, Guy Ritchie and the Disney team have also created a brand new character for us to enjoy. Saturday Night Live’s Nasim Pedrad will play Mara in the new live-action Aladdin, the friend, and handmaiden to Princess Jasmine.
Ahhh, this has got us even more excited!