The cast of Disney's Aladdin remake keeps getting bigger and bigger, with today bringing news that another actor has signed on to play a brand new character that didn't originate in the 1992 animated classic. Billy Magnussen has come aboard to play a character named Prince Anders, although no other details have been given at this time. He will become the second cast member who is playing a character created specifically for this musical, with Nasim Pedrad playing another character named Mara, a handmaiden and friend of Jasmine who wasn't in the original animated classic.
The Hollywood Reporter broke the casting news today, with the report adding that this is not the first time Billy Magnussen has portrayed a Disney prince. The actor portrayed the prince vying for the attention of Rapunzel in the 2014 live-action musical adaptation of Into the Woods. He joins a growing cast that includes Will Smith as the iconic Genie, with Mena Moussad playing the title character Aladdin, Naomi Scott staring as Princess Jasmine, Marwan Kenzari as Jafar and Numan Hakar as Jafar's henchman Hakim.
It remains to be seen how many more original characters will surface in this Aladdin musical, but there are still several characters from the original animated classic that have yet to be cast, such as Abu, Iago and the Sultan, who were voiced by Frank Welker, Gilbert Gottfried and Douglas Seale, respectively. A report from March claimed that the Aladdin live-action movie starts filming this summer, but that was never confirmed. Disney hasn't set a release date yet either, but with this cast coming together rather quickly, there could be more official announcements coming soon.
Guy Ritchie (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.) will direct Aladdin from a screenplay by John August (Frankenweenie, Big Fish), with Dan Lin, who has produced Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes movies, set to produce. What's interesting about this project is, just a few months ago, there were reports that Disney was "struggling" to cast the Aladdin male lead, but then just four days later, Mena Massoud was announced as the title character, with Will Smith confirmed as the Genie, and there has been a steady stream of casting announcements ever since.
While it isn't clear if Billy Magnussen will do much singing in Aladdin, he certainly has the chops to do so. The actor had a memorable duet with Chris Pine during Into the Woods, so it's possible that he could be belting out a tune or two in Aladdin. He can currently be seen in two indie movies that are playing in limited release, the comedy Ingrid Goes West and the Bruce Lee biopic Birth of the Dragon, where he plays a character inspired by one of Bruce Lee's actual students, big screen iconic Steve McQueen. He can also be seen on the Epix series Get Shorty, two episodes of Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 3 and one episode of another Netflix show, Friends From College. He is currently filming Game Night alongside Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams.