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Ryerson alumnus Mena Massoud cast as Disney’s Aladdin

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By Izabella Balcerzak

You don’t need a genie to make your dreams come true. Ryerson alumnus Mena Massoud has landed his carpet in Disney’s live-action remake of Aladdin as the role of the “street rat” himself.

The announcement was made at Disney’s D23 Expo in California on July 15th—after weeks of keeping fans waiting. Massoud then tweeted, “So honored & grateful for the opportunity to help bring this magical story to life once again.”

Massoud moved from Egypt to Markham at the age of three and he later went on to study neuroscience at the University of Toronto. But a year later he dropped out and transferred to Ryerson’s School of Performance.

Since graduating in 2014, Massoud has done film, television and voice overs for video games. His most recognizable roles have been in CW’s Nikita, CTV’s Saving Hope and ABC’s Combat Hospital.

For Aladdin, Massoud will be working alongside Will Smith (as Genie) and Naomi Scott (as Jasmine).

Guy Ritchie, director of the 2017 King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and the Sherlock Holmes film series, will direct Massoud and the rest of the cast in the remake.

Getting the right guy for the main role of Aladdin was no easy task to start off with. With sights on Oscar Nominee Dev Patel and Rogue One’s Riz Ahmed, Ritchie reportedly auditioned more than 2,000 actors for both lead characters—but Massoud took home the gold(en lamp).

Aladdin is set to begin shooting in London next month and there is currently no set release date.

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