Disney's live-action phase steps up a gear with the following announcements...
The new Aladdin movie finds its Jafar
The Mouse House's 1992 classic saw Jonathan Freeman give a wonderfully cackling vocal performance as the evil Agrabar sorcerer.
It's a tall order for a flesh and blood actor to measure up to the animated character, arguably one of the greatest Disney villains of all time. Nevertheless Guy Ritchie's live-action movie has, after an extensive and lengthy casting process, cast Marwan Kenzari as the scene-chewing antagonist.
The handsome Dutch-Tunisian actor (can we expect some sort of make-up to make him more evil?) has had small roles in the likes of Tom Cruise vehicle The Mummy and will next be seen in the upcoming Murder on the Orient Express. Nevertheless this will surely catapult him into the big leagues.
Kenzari will be joining Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Power Rangers actress Naomi Scott as Jasmine and Will Smith as the Genie. The movie doesn't yet have a release date but keep your eyes peeled to the blog for news.
Chiwetel Ejiofor in talks for Scar
Talking of iconic Disney baddies, The Lion King's venomous, scheming uncle character makes Jafar look like a nursery teacher. Let's not forget the Jeremy Irons-voiced antagonist killed his brother Mufasa in cold blood, framed his nephew Simba for the crime and took control of Pride Rock. Booo!
Scar is one of those Disney characters we just love to hate and it's hard to imagine anyone living up to Irons' deliciously sinister vocal turn. (The character's facial expressions were in fact modelled on the actor's, so impressed were the animators with his performance.) Still, the prospect of 12 Years a Slave Oscar nominee Ejiofor taking over isn't a bad prospect. In fact, it's a seriously impressive one.
The actor who stunned in Steve McQueen's harrowing slave drama is said to be in talks for the Scar role. Director Jon Favreau is set to capitalise on his 2016 Jungle Book success with another return to immersive CGI wonderment, including a reworking of the iconic Circle of Life opening scene.
The movie stars Donald Glover as Simba with James Earl Jones returning as Mufasa. The movie is released on 19th July 2019.
What do you make of these announcements? Let us know @Cineworld.