Aladdin star Mena Massoud has picked up his next big role as he’s been tapped by Netflix to star alongside Laura Marano (Austin & Ally, The Perfect Date) in the upcoming romantic drama The Royal Treatment. Written by Holly Hester Marano, the movie is directed by Rick Jacobson. Ellen Marano and Vanessa Marano for Calabrian Rhode will also produce with Chloe Smith, and Steve Berman and Dan Read will executive produce for FFI.
The Royal Treatment is a love story following Isabella (Ellen Marano) and Prince Thomas (Mena Massoud). Per Deadline, the story picks up as “Isabella runs her own salon and isn’t afraid to speak her mind, while Prince Thomas runs his own country and is about to marry for duty rather than love. When Izzy and her fellow stylists get the opportunity of a lifetime to do the hair for the royal wedding, she and Prince Thomas learn that taking control of their own destiny requires following their hearts.”
An Egyptian actor, Massoud is famous for playing Aladdin in Disney’s live-action remake that was released in 2019. After topping a billion dollars at the box office, the hit movie already has a sequel in development with Massoud attached to return in the lead role. He also starred in the Hulu series Reprisal which streamed for one season in 2019. Massoud has also had roles in Jack Ryan and the movies Strange but True and Run This Town.
Although Aladdin was a huge success, Massoud would later say that producers weren’t exactly beating his door down to bring him back to Hollywood. Several months after its release, Massoud spoke about his struggles to find new roles after playing the popular Disney character. Clearly, Netflix sees the value in Massoud’s work by bringing him on for The Royal Treatment, but it seems to have taken a little while for Mena to get the call.
“I want people to know that it’s not always dandelions and roses when you’re doing something like Aladdin,” Massoud told the Daily Beast in 2019. “‘He must have made millions. He must be getting all these offers.’ It’s none of those things. I haven’t had a single audition since Aladdin came out.”
The actor added, “It’s wild to a lot of people. People have these ideas in their head. It’s like, I’m sitting here being like, okay, Aladdin just hit $1 billion – can I at least get an audition? Like I’m not expecting you to be like, ‘Here’s Batman.’ But can I just get in the room?… Can you just give me a chance?”
As for Marano, she previously appeared in a romance movie for Netflix by starring in 2019’s The Perfect Date with Noah Centineo. She also appeared in last year’s The War with Grandpa and had roles in other movies like Superbad, Lady Bird, and Saving Zo&ë. Marano might be best known for playing Ally Dawson in the Disney Channel series Austin & Ally between 2011 and 2016.
It’s not clear when The Royal Treatment will debut on Netflix, but production is expected to take place in New Zealand sometime this year. This news comes to us from Deadline.