In the past week, we’ve had Disney announce who would be playing Jasmine, Aladdin, and Genie in Guy Ritchie’s live-action remake of Aladdin. After many months of rumours, it’s now official, but I noticed that they missed a name. They have yet to announce who is playing Jafar; the film’s memorable villain (and one of the best animated villains ever). So let’s look at who would be a good suggestion… Aladdin’s casting department take note.
When I think of Jafar, I think of someone who is tough, someone who could scare the audience, someone who can look as if they could get away with almost anything. From reports that have come since the announcement of the three leads, it is hinted that Disney wants someone who is well known to play Jafar, but will the list below I’m suggesting they think a little outside the box. So with that in mind, here are my picks.
My first pick would be the man who played Jafar in the Disney original movie The Descendants, Maz Jobrani. To prepare for his live action role as Jafar, he watched Aladdin on repeat, so he’s clearly already done his homework on the role. Even though Jobrani didn’t get to sing or dance for his role in the Disney original, he has admitted that he loved watching how the musical side of the production came together. I think he’d be perfect as Jafar because he’s willing to throw in everything he’s got for a role.
Going again with someone who’s played the part on TV, why not go with Once Upon A Time In Wonderland’s Naveen Andrews, though his time as Jafar was short lived due to filming commitments for Sense8. I haven’t seen any of the short-lived Wonderland, but after a quick video search and watching Andrews in the part, he shows the qualities that I believe Jafar requires. Andrews proves that he balance both the power-hungry and fearful sides of Jafar, whilst nailing the scheming part as well. Even just listening to the way Andrews speaks, you can just hear it in his voice that he has a handle on what makes the villain tick. Although not big in the features world, he is well known to TV audiences through Lost.
Which brings us to our third choice; Oded Fehr who took the reins over from Naveen Andrews in Once Upon A Time. As mentioned above, Once Upon A Time is something that I have never watched but after a quick video search online, the first video I watched was of Oded Fehr as Jafar, and he filled the screen with fear. He had me shivering, had me not wanting to ever cross this man, then as he spoke I thought instantly that he could be a perfect choice in a film that has had so many casting dramas. His voice was calm but fear inducing. Fehr is well known to blockbuster audiences, playing the mysterious Ardeth Bay in the original Mummy series. Trying to compare Andrews and Fehr may look easy, but both of these guys made the role of Jafar as their own and may be a casting agents’ worst nightmare because they both seem perfect as the villain in Agrabah.
Of course, who could forget the man who voiced Jafar in the animated movie, Jonathan Freeman? Admittedly, he doesn’t fit the profile of a Middle Eastern sorcerer (and the team behind this version of Aladdin seems to be looking for actors that are believable in the setting), but he’s certainly got the voice. So, why not have a man who was loved by millions reprise the role?
Or we could use the guy that seems to be the studio’s top pick to play Jafar (as well as every other movie going), Tom Hardy. Personally, Tom Hardy doesn’t seem to give off the right vibe that Jafar has, and they could open themselves up to the whole whitewashing thing.
If I had to pick an actor to play Jafar, I would pick any of the top three because they have recently played him and proved to audiences that they’d be perfect on the big screen. If the powers that be had it their way, they could swing the bat towards Tom Hardy but I don’t think that’s the right way to go. There is no doubt that the casting agents for Aladdin have a hard job on their hands after their well-documented dramas casting the leads.
What do you guys think? Who should take on the mantle of Jafar? Sound off in the comments below or on our Facebook page!