He has landed the starring role in 'Aladdin' - but where do you know him from?
Disney fans everywhere have been waiting with baited breath to hear the main cast announcement for Guy Ritchie's upcoming remake of 'Aladdin', and the news certainly comes as a surprise to everyone. Now the question on everybody's lips is: just who is Mena Massoud?
Director Guy Ritchie pictured at 'King Arthur' premiere
The Egyptian-Canadian relative newcomer will be topping the bill as the titular lamp-rubbing hero, alongside Will Smith as the Genie and Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine. It's a re-telling of Disney's original 1992 animated film, though we're yet to see who will land the role of the villainous Jafar.
It will certainly mark Mena Massoud's biggest role to date. He made his acting debut in 2011 as an unknown Al Qaeda member in the crime drama 'Nikita', and that same year landed a semi-regular voice role in the animated series 'The 99'. His first full-length movie was a romantic comedy called 'Let's Rap' in 2015, and he also appeared in the TV mystery drama 'Open Heart' with Tori Anderson.
'Aladdin' isn't the only thing Mena's got in the pipeline either. He's currently filming the thriller 'Strange But True', based on a novel by John Searles, and recently completed filming on another drama called 'Ordinary Days'. Most notably, however, he's set to star as Tarek Kassar in the forthcoming 'Jack Ryan' TV series which stars John Krasinski in the titular role.
Mena was born in Egypt to Coptic parents but grew up in Markham, Ontario in Canada, going on to study Theatre and Acting at Ryerson University after transferring from the University of Toronto. Of course, now that he's a big time Hollywood actor, he spends a lot of time in Los Angeles.
It hasn't been an easy ride for Mena, who has previously confessed that his ethnicity has been something of a hindrance when it comes to bagging big roles. However, now that white-washing is continually being called out, it looks like diversity in Hollywood is set to make a positive turn-around.
'So honored & grateful for the opportunity to help bring this magical story to life once again. Let's get to work!' He said on Twitter.