UPDATE JULY 15: Looper confirms that Will Smith has been cast as Genie, Naomi Scott will play the part of Princess Jasmine, and newcomer Mena Massoud will slip into the role of Aladdin himself! This means that none of the Bomb Squad got the Prince Ali or Genie part right, but AJ hit the nail on the head with her choice of Scott as Jasmine. What do you guys think of the official casting choices? Let us know in the comments below!
According to The Hollywood Reporter (THR), Disney has been struggling to find actors for their live-action remake of Aladdin. THR even stated that director Guy Ritchie has had thousands of actors read for the roles of the main characters, yet he just can’t seem to find anyone that fits. Back in March, the casting call criteria released by Disney stated the studio was looking for someone between the ages of 18 and 25 who can sing and dance. Most importantly, it emphasised the fact the characters were of Middle Eastern descent, so the actors who end up securing the roles should be as well. So with several incredible actors, both known and yet-to-be-discovered who surely meet the casting requirements, out there, how has Ritchie not found a single one worthy of a main role? After hearing Disney’s struggle to find the right actors, the Bomb Squad decided to have our own discussion of who we think should fill the roles. Now while we might not be casting pros, we are a bunch of geeks that love to play, watch, and read countless stories, and none of us had trouble casting the well-loved Aladdin characters. Every actor we suggested fits the casting criteria, and they have all demonstrated the extent of their abilities on other projects. Score! Just like our Boss Bomb, Maude, said during our discussion, “Move over Hollywood diversity standards, Geek Bomb has figured it out.”
Dean: Dean Abdou to play Aladdin… if, for some reason, I don’t get the role, then I guess next best would be Dev Patel to play Aladdin because he just has more of the street rat vibe to him (in a nice way). Ryan: Rahul Kohli. (He wants it so bad, and I actually think he’d be a good fit.) AJ: Avan Jogia! Zhiana: I wanna say Rahul Kohli because we love him here at Geek Bomb, but my other pick would be Manish Dayal!
Julia: Omid Abtahi, he was good in American Gods, and I’d really love to see him do something a little more rough around the edges, a street rat with charm!
Maude: I’m with the team that Rahul Kohli would be an outstanding Aladdin. He’s been advocating himself on Twitter so far, and the guy can sing, so that’s a huge plus! But I’ve been watching a lot of The Magicians and think Arjun Gupta could be sensational, too. He’s the bad boy on the show, so I would love to see his Disney side.
Dean: Sofia Boutella Ryan: Nasim Pedrad AJ: Naomi Scott Zhiana: Odette Annable Julia: Priyanka Chopra. She’s great on Quantico, so why not? Maude: Freida Pinto. She is one of the most beautiful women on the planet, and would do Jasmine absolute justice! Freida has also proven she can be vulnerable and commanding — both things our Jasmine requires.
Dean: No one can ever replace Robin Williams… but maybe the Rock? Ryan: Maz Jobrani AJ: Aasif Mandvi Zhiana: How can anyway replace Robin Williams? But I agree with Dean; I think Dwayne Johnson would be a good choice! Julia: At this point, I can’t imagine anyone who could replace Williams. Even the Genies at the Disneyland Aladdin show would model their performance after him. Maybe Wayne Brady? His goofy, yet relaxed attitude could make a cool Genie, I think! Maude: Don’t make me do this. I’ll go with Dwayne Johnson because he impressed me so damn much in Moana. Since this is live-action, Genie literally and physically needs to be larger than life… and that’s the Rock.
Dean: Amitabh Bachchan Ryan: F. Murray Abraham (100% no-brainer IMO) AJ: Irrfan Khan Zhiana: Ben Kingsley Julia: Ghassan Massoud Maude: Ryan has suggested Maz Jobrani as Genie, but I say let him loose as Jafar! I feel he can ham up the evil, slimy, power-hungry antagonist.
Dean: Louis C.K., for the banter. Ryan: Bring back Gilbert Gottfried! Zhiana: Aziz Ansari Julia: If Gottfried isn’t available, then I say Karan Soni. His back-and-forth banter with Reynolds in Deadpool was pretty great. Maude: There is only one. It must be Gilbert. No one can squawk like that man can.
Do you agree with our picks! If not, who would you cast? Let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter @GeekBomb.