Good news for people who like magic carpets, magic lamps, and domesticated tigers. The live-action Aladdin movie is *officially* in production, and soon, we’ll all be transported to Agrabah and the the tale of a street rat who wins the heart of the princess — and also saves the city in the meantime. And frees Genie!
While this is certainly something to get excited about, especially early ’90s kids who grew up watching and rewatching the 1992 animated movie, something is missing. Rather, someone one is missing. Disney released a full press release detailing the whole cast, including OG characters from the movie, and some new ones:
Cool! This sounds awesome! But, notice anyone MISSING? If you can’t, that’s fine, I’ll tell you:
It appears as if Disney has cut Iago from the movie, and no, I will not stay calm about this.
Iago is, in my humble opinion, the best character in Aladdin because he is a sassy AF parrot who has a hidden agenda of his own. How could you NOT love Iago? Well, it looks like the folks at Disney might not, as there is a parrot-sized hole in my heart right now.
The casting announcement lists Hakim as Jafar’s “right hand man,” and that title used to belong to Iago. Not anymore. This simply begs the question as to IF Iago will even have a role in the movie. He could always appear as a non-speaking parrot on Jafar’s shoulder, but that is boring. I need him to crack a few jokes. I need him to go off on a rant, only to be shushed by Jafar going, “Calm yourself, Iago.”
As far as I can tell — and yes, I have looked — there’s never been any mention of casting someone to voice Iago, who was played by Gilbert Gottfried in the OG version. Actually, when I googled “Iago Disney live action Aladdin” the first story that popped up was the last story I wrote about this issue, so it sure looks like I’m the only one campaigning for him to have some sort for speaking-role in the live-action reimagining.
The same “where is he??” question can also be raised for Abu, Aladdin’s monkey. While cute and adorable, Abu doesn’t really have lines in the movie, aside from a few monkey squeaks, so it’s not like we need to sound the alarm over his lack of casting. More than likely, we’ll see Abu. But will we see Iago?
With Aladdin now filming, that means there’s still a little bit of time to rectify this glaring omission. Give me, and the people, and the parrots of the world what they want. I-A-G-O.