Disney is currently having an issue casting the live action adaptation of their 1992 hit Aladdin. They should be not running into this problem. Hollywood is full of young actors chomping at the bit to play these roles. This is an issue Disney has created for itself since the company is trying to cast unknowns for the major roles in this upcoming film. I understand giving an actor or actress his or her big break, but this is Aladdin. They could easily ruin this film by miscasting one role alone. They had no problem casting big names in their recent adaptations of Maleficent, Cinderella, The Jungle Book, and Beauty and the Beast, so why try and break the mold now? Here are six actors Disney should be looking to cast in their live action Aladdin adaptation.
There is no better choice for the casting of the titular character of Aladdin than Dev Patel. This guy is a fantastic actor and he has range. I’ve seen him play many different characters over the years, and he has only gotten better. His most recent role in Lion shows off his dramatic chops, even earning him an Academy Award nomination. Not only is he a great actor, but also, he is a decent dancer. Remember, his first big role was in Slumdog Millionaire. It was in that film’s dance number that he first showed off his rhythm. I would say he has multiple talents which are necessary for the character of Aladdin.
Priyanka Chopra is a beautiful woman and a stunning actress. She can be calm yet strong willed at the same time. That’s exactly the type of actress they need to play Jasmine. She has made a name for herself in Bollywood and carried that same charm and charisma over to Hollywood. Priyanka is also an amazing singer and would easily be able to provide her own vocals for a cover of “A Whole New World”.
No one can ever replace Robin Williams as Genie. If he were still alive, then I would have placed his picture in this spot. What he did with the role was simply magical. Disney is right to try and distance themselves from that performance by casting an actor who can bring something new to the role, without copying or imitating what Robin Williams did. When I first heard that Disney was talking to Will Smith about the role I was a tad apprehensive, but after speaking to my wife about it my tune changed. I now believe that Will would be perfect as an all-new Genie. He started out as a rapper, then branched out into television acting, where he succeeded in comedy. While doing The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, he was offered roles in film. This led to him becoming a movie star, and he delivered many dramatic roles in the ’90s and early 2000s. Clearly, Will can do it all, and I’m sure he would give his all to this role. But Disney may need to provide cameo for his son, Jaden.
Sir Ben Kingsley
Look no further than Sir Ben Kingsley when casting Jafar. This Oscar winning actor is a prime choice for the role. If you look at his body of work he clearly knows how to play a villain. His characters in Lucky Number Slevin, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and more or less Iron Man 3 were pretty close to what he’d be playing in this movie. Power hungry and mad, Sir Ben Kingsley can give Disney all that and more if he were offered the role.
Erick Avari is an actor most people can recognize, but not know his name. This man is a splendid actor who has appeared in a variety of roles in both film and television. With his comedic timing he would be perfect as the Sultan. Picture a goofier version of the character he played in Mr. Deeds or Daredevil. Also, he has that “dad” look and feel that fits the Sultan perfectly.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The Rock makes everything better. This hulk of a man has clawed his way to the top of Hollywood’s elite actors. He has a presence in every film that he is a part of even if it’s a small role. And that is why I think he’d make a great Razoul. It may be a small role, but I imagine The Rock would make it feel big. He has good comedic timing. He can be fierce and intimidating. That is why he would be a great choice as the Captain of the Royal Guard. Just mentioning his name while promoting the film guarantees butts in seats.
The Rock definitely makes everything better!