Mena Massoud to Play 'Aladdin' Following Casting Drama


During Disney's D23 Expo presentation today, Disney production President Sean Bailey announced that Mena Massoud will star as Aladdin, while "Power Rangers'" Naomi Scott will play Jasmine. The announcement came on the heels of rumors the studio was conducting a global search in an attempt to find cast members of Middle Eastern or Indian descent.

"Lion" actor Dev Patel and "Star Wars" star Riz Ahmed were both rumored to be in contention for the role in Ritchie's reimagining of the 1992 Disney animated classic.

Dan Lin will produce the project under his Lin Pictures banner and Jonathan Eirich will executive produce.

Aladdin is set to begin shooting in August in London.

After a week of controversy over who Disney might cast in its planned live-action version of Aladdin, the studio announced it has found its wish-maker.

Mena Massoud, an Egyptian-born, Canadian-raised actor, will play Aladdin.

Massoud is relatively new to the film industry, having no major movie roles to his name, but he will appear on a number of episodes of the John Krasinski-led Amazon series Jack Ryan later this year. He is repped by The Characters Talent Agency and Stokes Management. She is repped by WME, United Agents and Echo Lake Entertainment.