Disney’s live-action Aladdin remake casts its Jafar

Guy Ritchie's upcoming adaptation will see Marwan Kenzari take on the villain alongside Will Smith's Genie

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If you haven’t heard Marwan Kenzari’s name yet, you’ll soon be very familiar with it. The Dutch-Tunisian actor is soon to be seen as the train conductor in Kenneth Branagh’s Agatha Christie adaptation, Murder on the Orient Express, but his star looks poised to shine even brighter thanks to his latest role. 

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Kenzari is being lined up to join Guy Ritchie’s live action remake of Aladdin as Jafar – the villainous advisor to the sultan of the Agrabah who has his sites set on the Genie to fulfil his own evil plans. The character was voiced by Jonathan Freeman in the animated movie from 1992. 

Former SNL star Nasim Pedrad has also been recruited to the cast as Mara, handmaiden and friend to Princess Jasmine, in a comedic supporting role specially created for the new adaptation. 

Ritchie is slowly assembling a cast for his live action project, with Will Smith on board to play the Genie and Mena Massoud lined up as Aladdin, the “street rat” who disguises himself as a prince in a bid to win the hand of Jasmine, played by Naomi Scott.

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Production is due to begin later this year with the script drawing inspiration from the 1992 animation as well as the folk story Aladdin and the Magic Lamp from The Book of One Thousand and One Nights.