Guy Ritchie ‘struggling to cast Aladdin’ in Disney remake

Will Smith is already on board to play the Genie.

Disney and director Guy Ritchie are reportedly struggling to find a lead actor for their live-action Aladdin remake.

Both Riz Ahmed and Dev Patel are understood to have been considered for the iconic title role, but Disney is said to be keener to cast an unknown actor.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, more than 2,000 actors and actresses have already been tested for the roles of Aladdin and Jasmine. The studio is said to be looking for an actor of Middle-Eastern or Indian descent in his 20s who can sing and dance, which is apparently proving “difficult”.

Two actresses are said to be in the running to play Jasmine: British Power Rangers actress Naomi Scott and Indian Disney Channel star Tara Sutaria.

Will Smith has already been cast as the Genie, the role made famous by the late Robin Williams in the original animated movie. The villainous role of Jafar is likely to go to another big-name actor. Tom Hardy has already been linked to the baddie role, prompting accusations of whitewashing.

Ritchie is due to start shooting the movie next month (August), meaning time is running out to find an actor to play Aladdin. The film’s release date has yet to be announced.