Just a few weeks after we reported that The Mummy remake star Marwan Kenzari is in talks to play the villainous Jafar in Disney's Aladdin reboot, it seems the studio has also found the villain's right-hand man. Turkish actor Numan Acar is in talks to portray Hakim, who serves as the "head of the guards" for Jafar in this live-action remake. There was a guard character named Hakim, voiced by Frank Welker, in the original Aladdin movie, but it seems he will be a much more substantial character in this live-action movie.
Deadline broke the news of this casting, but their report did not include Marwan Kenzari as part of the cast, so perhaps his deal has not been finalized at this time. Numan Acar will be joined by Will Smith, who voices The Genie, Mena Massoud as the title character Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine and Nasim Pedrad as Mara, Jasmine's friend and handmaiden. It remains unclear what other characters from the original movie will be brought over for this live-action project, such as Aladdin's pet monkey Abu (voiced by Frank Welker), Jafar's loud-mouthed parrot Iago (voiced by Gilbert Gottfried) and The Sultan (Douglas Seale) who rules over Agrabah. Tom Hardy was once rumored for the Jafar role, but that doesn't seem to be happening either.
It was also confirmed in May that, like the animated classic before it, the live-action Aladdin is a musical. Director Guy Ritchie revealed that it would be difficult not to make this project a musical, although he wouldn't reveal any specific details about the music and the songs that will be used at this point. Disney hasn't confirmed who will be working on the music, or if they will be crafting brand new songs for this reboot, or creating brand new songs. Disney hasn't issued a release date at this time either, but there was a report that Aladdin production will begin this summer. Although with the summer season almost over, that seems unlikely, even with the cast starting to come together.
Guy Ritchie is directing from a script he co-wrote with John August and Vanessa Taylor. Dan Lin is serving as producer with Jonathan Eirich on board as executive producer. Dan Lin produced both Sherlock Holmes movies for Guy Ritchie, and they are also reuniting on Sherlock Holmes 3, although it isn't clear when that may start production. This is just the latest in a string of live-action adaptations in various stages of development at Disney, including The Lion King with director Jon Favreau, Dumbo, which has started production already with director Tim Burton, and a live action Mulan project, just to name a few.
Numan Acar has several foreign films to his credit, but he may best be known in the U.S. for his role as Rahim in the 2014 film Rosewater, his recurring role as Haissam Haqqani on Showtime's hit series Homeland and for his role as Abu Ramal in Fox's new Prison Break series. He has also starred in The Great Wall, The Promise and the Point Break remake. He will next be seen in the upcoming movie In the Fade alongside Diane Kruger, which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival, and he is slated to appear in Horse Soldiers alongside Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon and Michael Pena. Hopefully we'll have more casting news for Aladdin in the near future.