According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney is struggling to find actors to fill their main lead in the upcoming live Aladdin film. They’ve had about three mass casting calls since the movie deal was assigned to director Guy Ritche. The trouble is, they want someone very specific: they’ve got to be of Middle-Eastern or Indian descent, in their 20s, and they need to be able to act and sing. Apparently this kind of combination is insanely difficult, as about 2000 folks have been interviewed for the roles.
However, the end might very well be in sight. Ritche has hired on Marc Platt and Chris Montan, two producers who have had plenty of experience making musicals for Disney. Their projects include Toy Story, Mary Poppins Returns, and Hercules. Thus far, they’re eyeing either Riz Ahmed (Rogue One and Nightcrawler) and Dev Patel (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) for the part of Aladdin, though it is more likely that they will pick unknowns. Personally, I think that Ahmed may have the charm down, but Patel has the silliness the cartoon version of Aladdin had.
As for the part of Jasmine, the team is determined to make sure the two main leads have the right chemistry. So it seems that they cannot cast one without the other, but at the moment Naomi Scott, who has played the pink Power Ranger in the new movie, and Tara Sutaria, who starred in a few fairly unknown Indian TV shows like The Suite Life of Karan & Kabir.
At the moment, production is scheduled to begin this month, and filming is to start this August for the film. However it seems as though both will be severely delayed until the team finally casts the main stars. As to the rest of the movie, we know that Will Smith might be cast as the Genie. In addition, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the team wants the role of Jafar to be a more known actor, so perhaps that is where Ahmed or Patel will end up.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter