Back in March, Disney launched an open casting call to find young actors who could star in Guy Ritchie’s live-action remake of Aladdin, but now it sounds like that casting call isn’t going particularly well. According to The Hollywood Reporter, 2,000 people have read for the all-important roles of Aladdin and Jasmine, but Disney has had so much trouble locking someone down for Aladdin that it hasn’t committed to a Jasmine yet because it wants to test their chemistry together. The agent of one of the people who was considered for the part even says the process has been “a mess,” and actors are apparently being flown in to London for “up to two weeks at a time” so they can meet with Disney.
A handful of those 2,000 people have been famous actors like Dev Patel and Riz Ahmed, but The Hollywood Reporter thinks that Aladdin will actually be played by a newcomer (and Ahmed and Patel are both older than what Disney is looking for). In order to find that newcomer, Disney has enlisted casting agents from all over the world, specifically the Middle East, but it’s still not making much progress. As for Jasmine, the favorites are Indian actress Tara Sutaria and Power Rangers’ Naomi Scott, but again, Disney won’t commit to anyone until it finds an Aladdin.
Will Smith is still attached to play the genie, and Disney reportedly wants a famous person to play Jafar, the villain. Production on the film was supposed to begin this month, but it has already been pushed back to August.