Disney’s live-action Aladdin casts Billy Magnussen in original role
Billy Magnussen (Into the Woods, Bridge of Spies) has been cast in Disney’s upcoming live-action film version of Aladdin, according to THR. The film, which is based on the 1992 animated adventure stars Mena Massoud in the title character. Naomi Scott (Power Rangers) will play Princess Jasmine. Marwan Kenzari (Murder on the Orient Express) will play the evil Jafar and Will Smith (I Am Legend) will play the role of Genie, which was made famous in the animated film by the late Robin Williams. Aladdin will be directed by Guy Ritchie (Snatch, Rocknrolla).
Billy Magnussen will play a role that has been created for the film, though there is no information beyond that. Nassim Pedrad (Saturday Night Live) is also playing a new character called Mara, a handmaiden who is Jasmine’s friend.
Aladdin was nominated for five Academy Awards and won two, including Best Original Score and Best Original Song for “A Whole New World.” Based on the Middle-Eastern folktale Aladdin and the Magic Lamp, the 1992 animated film was co-directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, who had previously-directed The Little Mermaid and would go on to make other Disney classics, including Hercules, Treasure Planet, The Princess and the Frog, and Moana. It famously featured Robin Williams as the film’s genie, along with Scott Weinger as Aladdin, Jonathan Freeman as Jafar, Linda Larkin as Princess Jasmine, Frank Welker as Aladdin’s monkey pal Abu, plus Douglas Seale as The Sultan, and Gilbert Gottfried as Iago.
Aladdin joins a long list of live-action remakes by Disney of their classic animated films, including Cinderella, The Jungle Book, Pete’s Dragon, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Mulan, Dumbo, and more.
Billy Magnussen is known for his work in the film version of the musical Into the Woods where he played Rapunzel’s prince, singing alongside Chris Pine. He’s recently been seen in Ingrid Goes West with Aubrey Plaza as well as the films Bridge of Spies and The Big Short. He’ll appear next in the upcoming film Game Night.
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