Screengrab via Screen Junkies/YouTube


When it was reported that Disney was having a difficult time finding a Middle Eastern or Indian actor to play the role of Aladdin in the upcoming live-action remake, the company was the subject of plenty of Twitter ridicule.

Less than a week later, Disney has its new Aladdin. And his name is Mena Massoud.

Meanwhile, Will Smith will play the role of the Genie and Naomi Scott has nabbed the role of Jasmine in the Guy Ritchie-directed film.

The casting, though, wasn’t a quick or easy process. As the Hollywood Reporter notes, it took months for casting directors, who reportedly tested more than 2,000 actors, to find the movie’s lead.

Massoud will appear in the Jack Ryan series on Amazon, and he was in Open Heart, a TeenNick series.

Though the role of the villain Jafar has not been cast, shooting for the film is set to begin in August.

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