Marwan Kenzari is in talks to play the evil Jafar in the live-action remake of Aladdin.
The 43-year-old actor – who will next be seen in Kenneth Branagh’s The Murder on the Orient Express – is reportedly set to play the villain in the Guy Ritchie directed re-imagining of the beloved 1992 Disney animation.
If Kenzari joins the cast he will be starring with Will Smith as The Genie, Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine and Mena Massoud as the titular street urchin.
Former ‘Saturday Night Live’ star Nasim Pedrad has been chosen to play new character Mara, a handmaiden and friend to Jasmine. Smith, Scott and Massoud were all announced for Aladdin at Disney’s D23 Expo in California.
Previously, Peaky Blinders star Tom Hardy was rumored to be in the running to play the villain but now it appears Kenzari has landed the role.
Shooting on the project is due to start in the next few weeks.
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory writer John August has penned the script for the musical movie, which is believed to be non-linear in its structure, something that is a hallmark of Ritchie’s early work on movies like cult British crime romps Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch.
The story is based on the Middle Eastern folk tale of Aladdin who is granted three wishes by a genie who is captive inside a magic lamp.
The original cartoon – which saw the late great Robin Williams voice The Genie – won two Oscars, Best Music and Original Song for ‘A Whole New World’.
Aladdin has also been turned into a hit stage show playing at theaters all over the world.