It's not like anyone really asked for an Aladdin live-action remake, but since we're here why not do it the right way? Disney is reportedly struggling to find an actor who can play the beloved titular character. The Hollywood Reporter claims the studio wants someone of Middle Eastern or Indian descent and is having trouble searching for someone who can both sing and act.
The global casting call began in March with production for the Guy Ritchie-directed movie slated to begin this month, but without a male lead the project cannot begin. The studio looked at Dev Patel and Riz Ahmed as potentials yet the final actor "will likely be a newcomer." Will Smith is set to play Genie while Power Rangers' Naomi Scott and Indian actress Tara Sutaria are in the running to portray Jasmine. So as Disney frets over casting their Aladdin, we decided to give them a little inspiration. Scroll through our picks for stars who would be the perfect Prince of Agrabah.
The former One Direction member was a no-brainer choice for many fans of Aladdin. Zayn is already a great singer, has South Asian roots (his father is British-Pakistani) and is a seductive charmer. While his anxiety may hinder him from being on screen, the artist has the looks and capabilities of bringing Aladdin to life.
There's been some controversy over if Aladdin should be played by someone of Middle Eastern descent as India is in South Asia. But pushing his Mumbai upbringing aside, Varun Dhawan has the talent to play the Disney character. He is an established Bollywood star and has a luscious head of hair just like Aladdin, which gives him somewhat of a pass as the actor is 30 years old.
Yes, yes, we know that Ranbir Kapoor is 34 years old. But let's not be too quick to forget that the 27-year-old Emma Watson portrayed a teenage Belle in the Beauty and the Beast remake! Kapoor also hails from Mumbai, India and scored critical acclaim in 2013's rom-com Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. It became one of Bollywood's highest-grossing moves of all time, so—aside from some of his commercial flops—the actor knows a thing or two about what it takes to make a hit.
Ranveer Singh only made his acting debut just seven years ago with Band Baaja Baaraat, but his award-winning performance proved that he has the skills to go far in both Bollywood and worldwide. His rugged good looks and suave personality can bring a little maturity to the role of Aladdin.
We're not sure if Avan Jogia can actually sing, but Disney can find someone else to provide the vocals like they did with Matthew Broderick in The Lion King! The 25-year-old actor is the youngest out of this bunch following Zayn Malik and has those brooding good looks that can bring a little edge to Aladdin. Jogia has British Indian heritage on his father's side and has starred in Victorious, Twisted and has an upcoming role in A Midsummer Night's Dream. What makes him special is that he can go from goofy to dramatic with ease.
Don't be fooled by his age—the 34-year-old Imran Khan looks a lot younger than he is! He quickly became one of India's biggest Bollywood stars following his adult debut in 2008's Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na. Along with his singing, dancing and acting skills, Khan is known for his impeccable style. Just imagine him in Aladdin's prince garbs!
The 27-year-old Deniz Akdeniz hails from Australia and is of Turkish descent. What gives the actor a one-up on the others in this list is that he's already played Aladdin! Fans of ABC's Once Upon A Time have praised his role as the Disney character. If chosen, Akdeniz can expand his performance for the big screen.
Dev Patel was already being eyed for the role of Aladdin, so why not give it to him? The 27-year-old has solidified himself as an international and well-rounded star, thanks to roles in Skins, Slumdog Millionaire and Lion. The actor has a quirky but sophisticated quality about him, which would be optimal in humanizing Aladdin in a live-action movie.
Ahmed was also considered for the role, but how can you deny those cheekbones? The 34-year-old has been featured in a vast majority of mainstream movies and TV series: Nightcrawler, Jason Bourne, Rogue One and The Night Of. His age may be a hinderance when considering that Aladdin is meant to be teenager. Yet Ahmed's career as a political rapper can add more dimension to the often mindless street rat.
The 26-year-old Jade Hassouné is an actor that rose to prominence thanks to his portrayal of Meliorn in Freeform's fantasy TV series Shadowhunters. Along with being a great actor with wicked good looks, the Lebanese-Canadian star also knows how to carry a tune.
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