Will Smith has confirmed the start of filming on Aladdin while also sharing the first cast photo. Disney is currently running through its lineup of classic animated features and giving them live-action updates that can hopefully replicate the magic. They’ve already done MaleficentCinderellaThe Jungle Book, and Beauty and the Beast, but next up, Guy Ritchie will bring Aladdin to life in a whole new way. He will be in a similar position with this film as Disney’s most recent remake, Beauty and the Beast, was – trying to honor what came before but also expanding upon it, at the same time.

In order to bring Aladdin to life, Disney has brought together a cast that includes newcomers, rising stars, and established veterans. Smith fills the role of the latter and will take on the most famous role from the film, The Genie – previously voiced by the late Robin Williams. While we still have a ways to go before seeing his take for ourselves, Smith has shared the first cast photo as production begins.

Related: Was Aladdin Originally Arab, Indian or Chinese?

Smith revealed the cast photo on his Facebook page, showing him standing alongside his three main co-stars: Mena Massoud (Aladdin), Naomi Scott (Jasmine), and Marwan Kenzari (Jafar). The photo commemorates the start of filming on Aladdin, as sets from the movie can be seen being built behind the stars.

With filming just beginning, it is already great to see Smith pushing his more unknown co-stars further into the public consciousness. Naomi Scott is arguably the most known of the three thanks to Power Rangers, while Massoud and Kenzari will have a chance to break out in their respective roles. The photo also further illustrates the appropriately diverse cast that Disney has brought together. They reportedly did a big casting call to find the right actors to lead the film, and hopefully it will prove to be a move that pays off.

Even though these will be the four most prominent roles in the film, they are not the only cast members. Most recently, Billy Magnussen signed on for an original role. He joins Nasim Pedrad as an original character in the new Aladdin, while Numan Acar is also set to appear in a villain role. The roles of Jasmine’s father and Jafar’s evil, talking bird Iago have yet to be officially filled, meaning we should be getting more casting announcements soon, even now that filming is underway. Now, we just need to find out when the movie is actually going to be hitting theaters.

NEXT: Aladdin Live-Action Remake Will Be a Musical

Aladdin is now filming but does not have a release date yet.

Source: Will Smith

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