Will Smith to voice the Genie in live-action Aladdin

Will Smith will voice the Genie in Guy Ritchie’s live-action remake of Disney’s Aladdin, it has been announced.

Smith will join the cast of the film alongside relative newcomer Mena Massoud in the titular role and British actress Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine.

Scott is best known for playing the pink Power Ranger in the recent big-screen reboot of the popular TV show.

The casting was announced at Disney’s D23 convention in Anaheim, California.

Disney’s struggles to cast the lead role of Aladdin were widely reported in the trade press and British actors Dev Patel and Riz Ahmed were regarded to be contenders.

The 1992 animated film was the highest-grossing film of the year and won Oscars for best score and best song for A Whole New World.

The studio also confirmed Tim Burton will direct a live-action remake of Dumbo, starring Colin Farrell, Danny DeVito, Eva Green and Michael Keaton.

Farrell will play Holt Farrier, a former circus star and war veteran, who has been enlisted by circus owner Max Medici (DeVito) to care for a newborn elephant with oversized ears.

Green will play aerial artist Colette Marchant, while Keaton will take on entrepreneur VA Vandevere, who swoops in to make Dumbo, the flying elephant, a star.

The movie has begun filming and is due to be released in 2019.

Disney also confirmed production on a live-action version of Mulan has begun but did not offer further details.

The film is expected to be released in the UK in November 2018.

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