Shaq must be busy.
During the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California this past weekend, the cast for the upcoming live-action adaptation of the classic Disney animated film Aladdin was officially announced.
Newcomer Mena Massoud will play Aladdin, Naomi Scott is Jasmine, and the Fresh Prince himself, Will Smith, will be Genie.
Egypt-born actor Massoud will appear in the Amazon Jack Ryan series, and also had roles in The 33 as well as the Disney Channel movie Lemonade Mouth. Scott is best known for her role as Kimberly Hart/ the Pink Ranger in the live-action Power Rangers movie that released this past March. Will Smith is Will Smith.
The film is set to be directed by Guy Ritchie, helmer of Sherlock Holmes, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and the recent box office disaster, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.
We’re really not familiar with Massoud, but Scott was one of the highlights of Power Rangers, so we’re hoping for the best. As for Genie…well Robin Williams’ performance is so iconic that it’s hard to imagine anyone else in that role; even Will Smith. But I’m now imagining Smith rapping “Friend Like Me,” and it’s the best thing in the world.
Also, Disney missed a golden opportunity to cast Shaq as Genie, giving us all the Kazaam sequel we’ve been waiting for.