Will Smith confirmed to play Aladdin's Genie
No one is surprised that the huge star has been confirmed to play the Genie in Aladdin.
Disney bosses revealed the full casts for their live action versions of Aladdin and Dumbo on Saturday (15Jul17).
Officials at the company announced at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California that, as expected, Will Smith will step into the late Robin Williams' shoes to reprise the role of Genie which the late comic genius made his own in the 1992 animated version of the film.
British Power Rangers star Naomi Scott will play Princess Jasmine while Mena Massoud has been announced as the titular character. The film marks the first big screen role for Massoud who reportedly beat out 2000 other actors. He currently stars in the Amazon series Jack Ryan and is widely viewed by Hollywood executives as a star on the rise.
The film, to be directed by Guy Ritchie, will begin production in London later this month.
Meanwhile, Disney bosses also confirmed the casting for their other major animated-to-live action reboot, Dumbo, which Will Smith was also in early talks for. That film has just begun production in London with Tim Burton in the director's chair and a cast which includes previously announced former Bond girl Eva Green as a French trapeze artist named Colette who is employed by the villain of the piece, Vandermere.
Tom Hanks was once slated to sign on for that role but the job has now been filled by Spider-man: Homecoming standout, Michael Keaton. Batman Returns star Danny DeVito, meanwhile, is a circus owner while Colin Farrell nabbed the final leading spot, once linked to both Will and Chris Pine, as a widowed dad who befriends the famous elephant.
Tim Burton sent a special video to the audience which saw him standing inside Casey Jr., the famous train featured in the story.
Dumbo's U.S. release date, 29 March, 2019 was also announced.
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