Marwan Kenzari is in negotiations to play Jafar in Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” reboot from director Guy Ritchie, sources confirmed to Variety.
He joins Naomi Scott, who will play Jasmine, Mena Massoud, who will portray the title character, and Will Smith, who will voice Genie (a role made famous by Robin Williams in the animated classic). Nasim Pedrad has also joined the cast as a handmaid and friend to Jasmine.
John August, whose credits include “Big Fish,” wrote the new “Aladdin” script. Dan Lin, who produced Ritchie’s two “Sherlock Holmes” movies for Warner Bros., is also producing “Aladdin” through his Lin Pictures company. Jonathan Eirich is exec producing.
The original animated movie was a comic take on the Arabic folk tale about a young man granted three wishes by a genie trapped in a lamp.
“Aladdin” was the highest-grossing film of the year in 1992, and won Oscars for best score and best song for “A Whole New World.”
Kenzari can be seen next in Fox’s “Murder on the Orient Express” where he plays the conductor. He also recently appeared in “The Mummy” opposite Tom Cruise, “Ben-Hur,” and “The Promise.”
He is repped by ICM Partners and Janey van Ierland at Nummer19 Films in Holland.