Everyone was obsessed with finding an answer to just one question this past week. Well two, actually.
1) What’s going to happen to Nawaz Sharif?
2) Who will be cast as the lead pair in Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin?
The fact that Disney was unable to find a non-white actor to play the role of Aladdin for the film’s live-action remake caused a stir in the world. People were amused and at the same time furious that Disney couldn’t find the right fit given a pool of over a billion potential candidates from the Middle East and South Asia alone. And just when aspiring actors in our part of the world were done googling details of how they could audition, Disney announced it had found the lead actors. We now know that Naomi Scott has been cast as Princess Jasmine, Egyptian-Canadian actor Mena Massoud will be playing Aladdin while Will Smith will be seen as the Genie.
Now, of course, we are not happy. We were hoping and had, in fact, already imagined a list of our favourite actors who’d make the perfect pair on screen. Take a look at that list and let us know if you feel the same.
Meesha Shafi and Riz Ahmed
Riz Ahmed, we hear, was high up on Disney’s choice of Aladdin. And if Riz was Aladdin, we can’t think of anyone who would look and sound better in Jasmine’s satin slippers other than Meesha Shafi. Her powerful voice would have definitely done justice to any Disney song and we already know how good she looks with Riz Ahmed (thanks to Reluctant Fundamentalist). Not to forget, Riz started his career as a rapper and still sings. What a loss!
Sajal Ali and Feroze Khan
We know all ‘Sajroze’ fans will agree with this one! Firstly, Sajal has the petite frame, dark long hair, doe-eyes and a winning smile that Disney princesses are known for. Her acting skills too, are superb and she has made a great pair with Feroze in the past. Feroze, who has mostly been seen in serious roles, would have done a great job as a young energetic Aladdin, which also happens to be his natural persona. Plus he definitely has the body to pull of that vest-without-a-shirt look. We’ve never heard them sing but we’re sure they could if they put their minds and some training to it.
Sohai Ali Abro and Ahad Raza Mir
Both of them are talented and gorgeous, plus we really want to see more of them on screen. Sohai can definitely dance, as we have seen on stage and in her film, Jawani Phir Nahi Ani, and we’re sure Ahad could follow her lead along with displaying his genetically acquired great acting skills. He has theatre experience and we bet he can sing too. Come on, Disney how could you have missed this?!
Hania Amir and Ahmed Ali Akbar
Ahmed Ali Akbar is known for his successful lead role in Nida Butt’s production of Grease; he also delivered a grand performance at the Hum Awards last year, so there his no doubt about his musical capabilities. The up-and-coming Hania Amir is a part of some major productions this year and she also happens to have superb energy and the most endearing smile, which could easily conquer several kingdoms. Again, a big loss.