Disney has found the actor to play one of Jafar's top henchmen in its live-action Aladdin remake. The Guy Ritchie-helmed redo has already found its stars, casting Mena Massoud (The 99) in the role of Aladdin and Naomi Scott (Power Rangers) as Princess Jasmine. It's also added Will Smith, the cast's biggest name yet by far, to play the Genie. On the side of the bad guys, Aladdin most recently added Marwan Kenzari (The Mummy) to play Jafar - not Tom Hardy, as was once rumored.
Odd casting rumors aside, the live-action Aladdin remake remains in the early stages of development despite casting its most major roles. Jafar's team of henchmen has yet to be filled out, but the movie is getting started in that direction with the casting one of the villain's top men in head guard Hakim. Disney has now unveiled its first choice for that role.
As reported by Deadline, Numan Acar has been cast in the role of Hakim, who is described in the report as "the head of the guards and Jafar's right-hand man". It's shaping up to be a big year for the Turkish actor in 2018, as he will also appear alongside Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon in Horse Soldiers, which tells the story of the first Special Forces team that was deployed to Afghanistan post-9/11.
Voiced by Frank Welker in The Return of Jafar and Corey Burton in Aladdin and the King of Thieves, Hakim is portrayed as a pale, gaunt Agrabah guard with a cynical, pessimistic outlook on the situations he encounters. It's unclear how inspired by the animated character Acar's portrayal will be, if at all.
Following in the footsteps of the casting of Massoud as Aladdin, Disney went with a relatively unknown actor to play what will presumably be a relatively significant supporting role. It appears that the movie will go that route with most of its casting, as opposed to the several big names associated with Jon Favreau's upcoming Lion King remake.
There are still risks associated with Aladdin that go far beyond casting Acar as Hakim. Ritchie is coming off one of the biggest box office disasters of the year, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. The veteran director gets a big chance to redeem himself with Aladdin and Disney's built-in fanbase, but those questions will remain until the movie is released. That said, it's fair to think that Aladdin should bring Ritchie a box office rebound.
- Aladdin (2019) release date: May 24, 2019