Disney's 'Aladdin' remake casts Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott as Aladdin and Jasmine

Disney's 'Aladdin' remake casts Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott as Aladdin and Jasmine

Disney production President Sean Bailey said Saturday at the D23 Expo in Anaheim that newcomer Mena Massoud will star as the scrappy Aladdin, and "Power Rangers'" Naomi Scott will play Jasmine.

Bailey also reiterated that "the wonderful Genie will be played by the equally fantastic Will Smith". While it will use that film as a template, it will also look further afield, drawing on the source material, 1001 Arabian Nights. Along with Aladdin, Disney is also planning a live-action version of The Lion King, which will star Hugh Jackman as Scar, Donald Glover as Simba, Billy Eichner and Seth Roen as Timon and Pumba, and James Earl Jones as Mufasa.

The announcement comes after reports that the film was having a lot of trouble casting its lead role. It was proving more hard than the studio imagined to find actors of Middle Eastern descent. While Scott has some high-profile work to her name such as "Power Rangers", Massoud (pictured below) is more of a newbie.

Mena Massoud, an Egyptian-born, Canadian-raised actor, will play Aladdin.

How He'll Compare: Smith could give a good spin on the Genie since he's good with different voices (as evidenced by his "Fresh Prince" comedy days), and he did have a brief career as a singer as well, so he'll be able to handle the singing parts.

Joining Massoud in the whole new world of Disney musicals is 24-year-old British actress Naomi Scott, who has been cast as Princess Jasmine.

Though the role of the villain Jafar has not been cast, shooting for the film is set to begin in August.

Dan Lin, who worked with Ritchie on Sherlock Holmes, is producing via his Lin Pictures banner, with Jonathan Eirich acting as executive producer.

The 1992 Aladdin movie plot was derived from the Arabic folk tale about a young man given three wishes by a genie after releasing it from a lamp.