Disney’s live-action Aladdin finds its villain and Royal Vizier, Jafar

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

Today, it's been announced that Disney is in negotiations with Marwan Kenzari for him to star as the villain of the studio's live-action version of ALADDIN, Jafar. Kenzari will be joined by Mena Massoud (Aladdin) Naomi Scott (Jasmine), and Will Smith who's set to gettin' jiggy with a magic lamp as The Genie. Additionally, Saturday Night Live alum Nasim Pedrad has also landed a part in the film as a character created specifically for the live-action presentation.

Inspired by the folk tale One Thousand and One Nights, the story of ALADDIN tells a tale of what happens when a street urchin vies for the love of a beautiful princess, by using a genie's magic power to make himself off as a prince in order to marry her. Along Aladdin's deceptive journey, he encounters Jafar, the royal vizier to the sultan of Agrabah. With his magic staff, wickedly twisty goatee, and flare for the dramatic, Jafar wants nothing more than to possess Aladdin's genie. With that kind of power at his command, Jafar can force the phenomenal cosmic power with itty bitty living space to make him the most powerful sorcerer in the world!

Indeed. This is the casting decision I've been waiting on for ALADDIN. For my money, Jafar is one of the most nefarious villains in the Disney library, and I'm anxious to see just how over-the-top Kenzari will take the Mad Sultan's bravado. On-board to direct ALADDIN is none other than Guy Ritchie (SNATCH, KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD) who will shoot the film based off of a script by BIG FISH and CORSPE BRIDE scribe John August.

Before stepping into the crimson red robes of Agrabah's power-hungry mischief-maker, you can catch Marwan Kenzari when he stars alongside Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Johnny Depp, and Josh Gad in Kenneth Branagh's MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS. That film will be pulling out of the station and into theaters beginning on November 10th.   

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a JoBlo.com editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.