x

Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Search for a star: Disney struggle to find their Aladdin  for a new live action film

Their search has taken them to Abu Dhabi, Egypt and India, as well as London, with an estimated 2,000 actors and actresses auditioning for the role of Aladdin and the female lead, Jasmine.

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock (1541553a)
Aladdin
Film and Television
No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock (1541553a) Aladdin Film and Television

"Some day my prince will come," Snow White sang in one of the most famous Disney films. But despite searching since March, Disney have so far failed to find their prince for their latest venture - a live action film of Aladdin..

Director Guy Ritchie and Disney are looking for someone to play the title role of the street urchin who rises to become prince of the fictional Middle Eastern city of Agrabah.

The search has included big names such as Riz Ahmed, 34, and Dev Patel, 27, but casting directors are thought to want a newcomer in the role.

Disney are looking for a young actor and singer of Middle Eastern or India descent for the role, to fit in with the context of the story.

Their search has taken them to Abu Dhabi, Egypt and India, as well as London. It is believed around 2,000 actors and actresses have read for the role of Aladdin and the female lead, Jasmine.

The live-action musical film will be an adaptation of the hit 1992 animated film about a street kid who falls in love with princess Jasmine and becomes best friends with a magical genie.

Two actresses are rumoured to be in the running for the role of Jasmine: Power Rangers actress Naomi Scott, 24, or Indian actress Tara Sutaria, 21. It is unlikely that the chosen actress will be confirmed for the role until the male lead has been found as the pair need to work well together on screen.

Production was due to begin this month but has been delayed due to the casting issues. It is now planned to begin next month.

According to the film industry publication The Hollywood Reporter, there have been several rounds of screen tests in London, with the actors coming in for up to two weeks at a time. According to one rumour, the little-known Bollywood actor Siddarth Gupta is in the running for the role of Aladdin.

“The test process was a mess,”said one agent with a client who was auditioned.

Hollywood star Will Smith has signed up to play the genie, and sources say the studio is after a big name for the role of the villain, Jafar.

This is not the first time Disney have taken their time over casting their films. Finding Lily James for Cinderella and Daisy Ridley for The Force Awakens' Daisy Ridley took longer than expected.

Disney has also received many suggestions on social media as to who their new leading man should be. They include the young Canadian actor Avan Jogia, who is half-Indian, and Bollywood actor, Hrithik Roshan. Others have stressed the importance of an ethnically-appropriate actor, with one tweeting, "If a white guy plays Aladdin I'm starting a riot ”