Via The Hollywood Reporter, Alan Tudyk will play Jafar’s wisecracking bird. The role was made popular by Gilbert Gottfried in the original ‘92 film and its sequels.
Iago was one of the holdouts in the Aladdin marketing push, with many wondering if Gottfried would reprise the role. It seemed unlikely, however, considering the comedian’s controversial past.
In addition to a 9/11 joke three weeks after the attacks, Gottfriend unleashed a series of tweets in 2011 regarding the earthquake disaster in Japan. Because of this, Aflac released him from voicing their duck mascot, and the world was never the same.
I’m not condemning or condoning Gottfried, but I’ll direct your attention to the excellent 2017 documentary about him, which touched on these events.
Tudyk is ostensibly becoming a mainstay at Disney, and has shown a knack for changing his voice. Some recent roles include King Candy and Knowsmore from the Wreck-It Ralph franchise, Star Wars’ K-2SO, and the brain-dead chicken from Moana.
These are wildly different characters that demonstrate his voice talent. If I had to guess, I think he’ll be doing something pretty close to Gottfried’s trademark squawk– if not a full impression.
Are you excited about this casting? Would you prefer Gottfried reprise the role? Let me know in the comments!