Fan excitement for the Guy Ritchie-directed adaption of the 1992 animated classic, starring Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Will Smith as the Genie, and Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine, began to build on Tuesday, March 12, when studio executives released the first full-length trailer online, though questions remained over who would take on the part of Iago.
However, editors at The Hollywood Reporter have reported that Tudyk has been cast in the role, with the actor seemingly confirming the news on Tuesday by posting a link to an article about the movie on Twitter and adding the cryptic caption, "Same studio, different bird."
In the original film, Iago was depicted as a red-plumed scarlet macaw parrot and the sidekick of the evil Jafar, as played by Marwan Kenzari in the new feature. The parrot's name is an homage to the villain in William Shakespeare's "Othello".
Comedian Gilbert Gottfried, the original Iago voice, didn't comment on the news directly, but made his feelings known by retweeting a number of fans who expressed their outrage at the part being recast, including one who wrote, "This movie can go f**k itself! @RealGilbert is the ONLY voice for Iago!"
Same studio, different bird. https://t.co/WzuZv9FNPl— alan tudyk (@AlanTudyk) 12 March 2019
Tudyk is known for his roles in TV shows like "Firefly" and movies such as "I, Robot", "DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story", and "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story", in which he played droid K-2SO via motion capture.
After the trailer was released, Smith took to his Instagram page to thank his followers for checking out the clip and to upload an animated image created by character designer Luigi Lucarelli showing his Genie besides the version voiced by the late Robin Williams in the original.
"I know Genies don't have Feet... But you left some Big Shoes to fill. R.I.P., Robin! And Thank You, @helloluigi Love the art work!" he captioned the art.
The live-action "Aladdin" is set to hit cinemas around the world from 22 May.