Aladdin is the latest Disney classic to get the live-action treatment, and on Wednesday Entertainment Weekly had the exclusive first photos of the cast in character. Mena Massoud in Aladdin’s (Patagonia?) red vest! Naomi Scott in Jasmine’s signature green robes! Will Smith with a ponytail and beard so bizarre it might send a chill or two down your spine! Hot Jafar is, graciously, still hot.
For Genie, Smith told EW that he wanted his performance to be an homage to Robin Williams’s from the animated movie, but also stand on its own. (One Disney exec described the new Genie as “part Fresh Prince, part Hitch.”) Smith’s Genie in his blue lamp form isn’t done yet, but director Guy Ritchie teased the animation: “I wanted a muscular 1970s dad. He was big enough to feel like a force — not so muscular that he looked like he was counting his calories, but formidable enough to look like you knew when he was in the room.” Okay!
Marwan Kenzari as Hot Jafar! We’ve missed you. Also, we might know a cave of wonders for you to explore.
On the matter of Abu: a monkey in a tiny monkey vest and a tiny monkey hat will always be cute. Even in live-action, Abu is the best.
In the new Aladdin, Jasmine gets her own song (with lyrics from La La Land songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul), and a best friend. Nasim Pedrad plays Dalia, Jasmine’s handmaiden. See Aladdin May 24, 2019.
Update: And if you want to see behind the scenes of the new Aladdin, EW has also posted a featurette with some fun on-set stunt footage. Will Smith created as “Will Smith, Genie” in his testimonial makes it worth watching for that alone.