After a lengthy search, The Walt Disney Company announced on Saturday that it has finally found its Aladdin, casting Egyptian-Canadian Mena Massoud to play the key character in the live-action reboot of the classic animated film.
Massoud snagged the lead role in the film, alongside British-Indian actress Naomi Scott, who will play Princess Jasmine. Will Smith will also star in the live-action remake as the Genie, Disney announced at the D23 Expo on Saturday.
Massoud was born in Egypt, but grew up in Markham, Ontario, and studied theater and acting at Ryerson University’s School of Performance.
He is best known for his television roles in “Open Heart” and “Saving Hope”, and will be in the small screen version of “Jack Ryan.”
Massoud currently spends his time between Toronto and Los Angeles, according to his Instagram.
The film is to be directed by Guy Ritchie and produced by John August and Jonathan Eirich.
This comes after Disney had announced facing difficulty in finding a person to take on the role of Aladdin, asking people to offer their online suggestions for the perfect candidate.
The 1992 animated version of Aladdin garnered half a billion dollars in global revenue against a $28 million budget.