We found out today that the Disney Princessverse is getting a new live-action adaption, and it features our favorite street urchin and blue genie: Aladdin. If you want to get a good rundown of the announcement, check out this article. Now, the question will be, who on earth is going to star in these roles, especially the beloved-by-all Genie voiced by Robin Williams. I'm going to try to cast the film as best I can, and with that, here we go, starting with the Prince of Paupers himself, and friend of genies and monkeys, and the guy who's name is the same as the film: Aladdin!
Aladdin: Ben Barnes
Known for playing Prince Caspian in the Narnia films and Dorian Gray himself, Barnes has shown himself to be an excellent actor. He has both charm, and a touch of mischievousness in many of his characters. Maybe it's his work as Caspian, but I imagine him as more Middle Eastern/Mediterranean than English. And, even though he is thirty-three, he still can play a man in his early twenties. Still too old for Aladdin, you say? We'll get to that point in a minute with our second casting.
Princess Jasmine: Morena Baccarin
Morena has wowed sci-fi audiences for the last decade with leading roles in both Firefly and Stargate SG-1, she's also known for her work on Gotham, Homeland, and even Flash. (She voices Gideon, for those who didn't know.) Yes, I know that she's in her thirties, but, her acting is excellent, and she can play a younger part. My reason for casting both her and Barnes as the leading roles is that it is unrealistic to portray Disney princesses as young teens. Belle is supposed to be seventeen, and yet is being played by the twenty-five year old Emma Watson. Cinderella is supposed to be nineteen (old by Disney standards) and is portrayed by someone seven years older. Jasmine cannot be realistically portrayed as a fifteen year old, nor can Aladdin as a sixteen year old. Age the character's to their mid-twenties, and the story makes a bit more sense in modern thinking. But, now that I'm done with this little spiel, let's get on to the villain of our show!
The Vizier of Agrabah, Jafar: Ben Kingsley
If Ben is in a movie, it's automatically awesome. Knighted for his work as an actor, Kingsley has starred in films such as Ghandi (Where he played the title role), Schindler's List, and Ender's Game. He was just about the only good thing of Iron Man 3, and he's garnered an Oscar, and multiple other awards in his career. Not only does he have the look of a regal, sinister Jafar, but his acting would be enough to where he could look like Anne Hathaway and still pull the role off. Now that we have our antagonist out of the way, let's call in his boss, the Sultan!
The Sultan: Omid Djalili
Yes, it's the crazy guy from The Mummy, and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, and just about anything else he's in. Omid has comedic timing and the ability to turn a phrase unlike any other. Slap a bushy white beard and a parachute on that man's head, and you have a Sultan. Unintentionally humorous, perfectly bumbling, Djalili would make the perfect Sultan. Now that we've taken care of the human cast, let's deal with the animals, starting with everyone's favorite pick-pocketing monkey, Abu!
Abu: Crystal the Monkey
Though she bears no resemblance to the animated film's simian, Crystal is pretty much the ultimate primate actor in the industry, unless your name is Andy Serkis. We all know how adorable and funny she can be, and, she's even worked with Kingsley (I know, I know, it's a stretch) in the Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King. Now, onto our more dastardly animal...
Iago the Parrot: Simon Pegg
A master of comedy, sci-fi, and voices, Pegg is a perfect addition to any role. He can bring out humor in even the most serious of characters. And his voice-over work is quite impressive. Buck from Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Reepicheep from Voyage of the Dawn Treader are just a couple of examples of his amazing skill. And, there's the red hair-red feathers thing going on, so...
Genie: James Monroe Iglehart
Now, I know how much this role means to a lot of people, and how hard it will be for them to see someone besides Robin Williams take up the magic lamp. Much like my view on Han Solo, you don't want to see a character rebooted in any way. However, if there is one person who could pull this off, in my opinion at least, it's the man who plays him for a living on Broadway. In fact, Iglehart one a Tony for Genie last year. His vocals are impressive, his acting superb, and he does the part justice without trying to be Williams. In my opinion, he is the only one who can do the role right.
Well, there you have it! I'm not sure how all these live action films will turn out for Disney, but, if it had a cast like the one I just gave you, then...it would be pretty spectacular. Don't agree with me? Let me know who you think should be in the movie below in the comments. If you like what you read, be sure to subscribe for more hopefully good content. Till we meet again!