Welcome to a whole new world and a whole new cast for Aladdin. Disney’s live-action remake includes all of our favorite characters from the 1992 animated classic (including a talking Iago), but also expands on some of the characters, too. We've even got a few brand new Aladdin characters as well, namely Nasim Pedrad’s Dalia, who is a handmaiden and best friend to Princess Jasmine (because the original film only featured one female character — Jasmine — so it’s about time we got at least one more woman in Agrabah).
While these new characters are in no way trying to directly copy the original (especially in the case of Will Smith taking on the role of Robin Williams’ Genie), they are breathing new life into an updated version. There are also a few instances where characters have been tweaked a little bit, but that mostly falls with the animals in the movie: Abu isn’t as human anymore, Iago isn’t as talkative, and Raja isn’t super expressive. But aside from those, everyone has the same character essence as they did in 1992. Even Carpet!
Whether you’re headed to Agrabah now or just got back from your trip, here are all the new names and faces in Aladdin, with a few reminders of the versions that preceded them.
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Will Smith As The Genie
You’ve definitely encountered Will Smith at least a dozen times throughout your life so far, if not more. He’s been recording music as a hip hop artist since the 1980s, but really rose to household name fame when he starred in an NBC TV show — The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
Fresh Prince lasted for six seasons, and following that Smith made the much deserved jump to the big screen. His first BIG movie was Bad Boys (a franchise he’s still in, with the Bad Boys for Life movie set to be released in 2020), and following that saved the planet from invading aliens in Independence Day and gave us one of his most iconic on-screen lines, “Welcome to Earth” as he actually punched one of these aliens. He’s also appeared in the likes of the Men in Black franchise, Hitch, and Suicide Squad.
Smith’s filmography isn’t the only thing of interest, as he’s definitely a part of one of Hollywood’s most prominent families. He married Jada Pinkett Smith in 1997, and they have to kids together, Jaden and Willow. The entire family has acting credits to their name, with Jada an actress in her own right; and Jaden and Willow are both musicians and actors themselves.
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Mena Massoud As Aladdin
Massoud was born in Cairo, Egypt, and later moved to Canada for his childhood. Yes, this is his first major role for both film and television, but he did have a role in Amazon Prime Video’s Jack Ryan playing CIA operative Tarek Kassar, one of Ryan’s co-workers (it’s unclear if he’ll reprise the role for Season 2).
Massoud is a vegan, and even has his own travel show called Evolving Vegan, and explained that his reason for the show is to explain that, “It was apparent to me that many vegans made it seem like you were vegan or you were not vegan. There was no in between and no time to ask questions or actively transition. And if you were not a strict, 100% vegan then there was no room or time to waste on educating or accepting you into the community.”
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Naomi Scott As Jasmine
Say hello to the latest IRL Disney Princess, Naomi Scott, who truly becomes Princess Jasmine in Aladdin. She’s also no stranger to Disney, as one of her first big roles as in Disney Channel’s Life Bites for two seasons, and later starred in the DCOM Lemonade Mouth. She also later starred in the short-lived Terra Nova for one season on Fox.
But, her big break came with her role in 2017’s Power Rangers movie where she played the ICONIC Kimberly/Pink Ranger. He’s also going to showcase her butt-kicking abilities in the Charlie’s Angels reboot playing Angel Elena.
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Navid Negahban As The Sultan
Negahban has been steadily working for the last two decades, so you’ve definitely come across his work before. He was born in Mashhad, Iran, but later moved to Turkey, and then Germany, and finally the United States and along the way became fluent in English, German, Persian, and French — the latter for his role as Amahl Farouk / Shadow King on Legion for Season 2.
On top of that, he appeared on Homeland as Abu Nazir, and on 24 as Jamot. He’s also appeared on Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrow, and Fringe.
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Marwan Kenzari As Jafar
Hello, there’s a reason New Jafar is more commonly known as Hot Jafar because, well… just look at Kenzari. It’s okay if you spend most of the movie rooting for his bad guy.
So now that you’ve seen Jafar in action, where else can you see Kenzari? He’s been in a handful of moves over the last few year, including big ones like Tom Cruise’s The Mummy and Murder on the Orient Express. And, ahem, in the 2014 Dutch movie Bloedlink, he appears completely naked. Just saying!
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Alan Tudyk As Iago
Disney might own Tudyk, but in the nicest way possible. He’s been a stable voice actor for them since 2012’s Wreck-It Ralph, and has lent his voice to Frozen, Big Hero 6, Rogue One (where he’ll reprise his role as K2-S0 for the Cassian Andor Disney+ series), and even Moana where he played the rooster Hei-Hei (who doesn’t really speak, so that means Tudyk just made Hei-He’s strange noises). He’s now continuing on with his voice work, and gives new life to Jafar’s wisecracking parrot, Iago.
If you’d like to actually see Tudyk on screen, instead of just hear him, he played Wash in Firefly and Serenity (RIP), Arrested Development, and Suburgatory.
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Nasim Pedrad's New Aladdin Character, Dalia
If you enjoy laughing, you know Pedrad. She was actually born in Iran before moving to the United States at age 3, and grew up in California. But, you probably know her best from her work in New York City, specifically at 30 Rock. Pedrad spent five seasons on Saturday Night Live where she did spot-on impressions of the likes of Arianna Huffington, Kim Kardashian, and Lea Michele.
Since leaving SNL in 2014, she starred in John Mulaney short lived sitcom, Mulaney, along with playing Winston’s girlfriend and later wife on New Girl. She’s also one of Jake Peralta’s long-lost sisters on Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
If you think about it, Princess Jasmine is actually the only female character in the animated Aladdin. Of course she’s lonely trapped inside the palace! Looking to rectify that, Pedrad’s Dalia steps into the picture, as Jasmine’s handmaiden and best friend. Talking to The Hollywood Reporter, Naomi Scott explained, “I never realized it, but in the animation, Jasmine is really the only female character — isn’t that crazy? We wanted people to watch the movie and see Jasmine’s relationship with another woman, and be like, ‘Ah, that’s what I’m like with my girlfriend,’ or ‘We would so do that if I was in that position.’ That’s something that’s missing from the animation."
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Billy Magnussen's New Prince Character In Aladdin
Put Magnussen in more Disney movies! Let Magnussen be more Disney princes! He Played Rapunzel’s Prince in Into the Woods opposite Chris Pine, where they had a sing-off on a waterfall, and there should be more musical numbers like that.
He also appeared in everyone’s favorite airplane in-flight movie, Game Night, along with Ingrid Goes West, Netflix’s Velvet Buzzsaw, and has an unknown role in the upcoming Bond 25. As for television, you can see him in the “U.S.S. Callister” episode of Black Mirror, along with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story.
Magnussen’s Prince Anders looks like he walked in from a cut scene out of Frozen, as he’s from the kingdom of Skånland, which is actually in Norway. Jafar is hoping that he can pair Princess Jasmine and Anders off, to grow their allies in hopes of invading other countries. Anders, sadly, doesn’t have much to do in the film, but we need to see Jasmine reject a well off prince before she meets Prince Ali.