Alan Tudyk, Disney's Lucky Charm, Will Voice Iago In 'Aladdin'

In Disney's upcoming remake of The Lion King, director Jon Favreau is bringing back James Earl Jones to reprise his role as Mufasa from the animated original. But no such luck for Gilbert Gottfried, who memorably voiced Jafar's pet parrot in Disney's 1993 animated classic Aladdin.

Director Guy Ritchie has hired actor Alan Tudyk to take over the role in the studio's upcoming live-action remake. Tudyk has become something of a lucky charm for Disney after appearing in several of their recent hits, so we really should have seen this coming.

The Hollywood Reporter says Tudyk will play the wise-cracking parrot in the new version. Robin Williams, who memorably voiced the Genie in the original Aladdin, died in 2014, so it makes sense that that role would need to be filled by someone else. But couldn't Disney have thrown Gottfried a bone and brought him back to play Iago again? Bummer.

But let's put that aside. Tudyk, who's known in live-action for roles in properties like Dodgeball and Firefly, is an outstanding voice actor in his own right. He's also become Disney's equivalent of John Ratzenberger, an actor who became the unofficial mascot of Pixar and appeared in several of their movies in a row. So far, Tudyk has done voice work in Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, Big Hero 6, Zootopia, Moana, and Ralph Breaks the Internet. Plus, he played the droid K-2SO in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It would be tough for anyone to put their own spin on the Iago voice since it's so closely associated with Gottfried's loud squawking, but if anyone can do it, Tudyk can.

We don't know yet what choices the actor will make with the voice because while Iago has appeared in the trailers (including the one that debuted this morning), the character has been silent thus far.

Here's the film's official synopsis:

A thrilling and vibrant live-action adaptation of Disney's animated classic, "Aladdin" is the exciting tale of the charming street rat Aladdin, the courageous and self-determined Princess Jasmine and the Genie who may be the key to their future. Directed by Guy Ritchie, who brings his singular flair for fast-paced, visceral action to the fictitious port city of Agrabah, "Aladdin" is written by John August and Ritchie based on Disney's "Aladdin." The film stars Will Smith as the Genie; Mena Massoud as Aladdin; Naomi Scott as Jasmine; Marwan Kenzari as Jafar; Navid Negahban as the Sultan; Nasim Pedrad as Dalia and Billy Magnussen as Prince Anders.

"Aladdin" is produced by Dan Lin, p.g.a., and Jonathan Eirich, p.g.a., with Kevin De La Noy and Marc Platt serving as executive producers. Eight-time Academy Award®-winning composer Alan Menken provides the score, which includes new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Oscar®-winning lyricists Howard Ashman and Tim Rice and includes two new songs written by Menken and lyrics by Oscar and Tony Award®-winning songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

Aladdin flies into theaters on May 24, 2019.