Following a long wait, Disney revealed that Egyptian Canadian Mena Massoud will take the leading role in the new live-action film Aladdin.
Written by Oscar-winner Jennifer Lee, who wrote and co-directed Frozen, and directed by Guy Ritchie, the new Aladdin is a remake of Disney's 1992 animated film Aladdin. The cast will also include Naomi Scott in the role of princess Jasmine and Will Smith as Genie.
Born to Egyptian parents and raised in Canada, Massoud is a relative newcomer to the American scene, yet he has already kicked off his career in the Canadian cinema and television market.
He appeared in episodes of a number of Canadian television series. He was cast in Nikita (2011-2013) where he played a member of Al-Qaeda, Poser (2011-), Combat Hospital (2011-), as well as Canadian-American Open Heart (2015).
In 2014, he acted in Canadian short comedy Americanistan where he portrayed a character named Mohammed Ali.
More recently he was cast in leading roles in Canadian films, includng short drama Final Exam (2017) and drama mystery Ordinary Days (2017).
He was also cast in Strange But True (Canada) which is yet to premiere.
The role in the upcoming Aladdin is Massoud's first strong entry to the American cinema market.
Fllowing the news announcement by Disney, Massoud expressed his excitement on Twitter saying:
According to the casting call released in March, Aladdin will begin shooting in July and a release is scheduled in early 2018.
Disney is yet to release details about the remaining cast.
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