On Friday afternoon, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Dutch actor Marwan Kenzari was "in negotiations" to play Jafar in the upcoming live-action Aladdin. If the ink isn't dry on his contract yet, he may be able to ask for more: Disney have to cast him now that social media is officially in love with the guy.
Kenzari would play the villain, opposite Mena Massoud as Aladdin and Will Smith as the genie. THR also reported that the Guy Ritchie-directed movie had cast Nassim Pedrad in the new role of Mara, a friend and handmaiden to Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott). It's a shame the Kenzari news overshadows the positive development that Jasmine gets to have a friend of her own to talk to.
One can guess that a lot of what she'll be talking to Mara about is how in the heck she could choose between the "street rat" and the grand vizier of the fictional country of Agrabah when they both look like that. The internet is having way too much fun with this dilemma, which was so not a problem in the 1992 cartoon.
This Jasmine GIF in response says it all:
Kenzari, who was born in the Netherlands to Tunisian immigrant parents, started his career as mostly a stage actor after graduating from theater school. Many of the shirtless workout photos and GIFs flooding our feeds now are thanks to his breakout role in the 2013 Dutch movie Wolf, in which he played a Moroccan ex-con and kickboxer. He's since appeared in Ben-Hur, The Promise, and The Mummy. His upcoming roles, per THR, include playing an Egyptian spy for Israel in the Netflix drama The Angel, and the conductor of the titular train in Murder on the Orient Express.
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