Disney has been putting live-action adaptations of their animated classics on the fast track to production. Recently the studio has announced a sequel to The Jungle Book, a live-action adaptation of The Lion King with Jon Favreau at the helm, and confirmed a release date for Mulan. Two out of the three titles are from the studio’s animation renaissance of the 1990s, and now they are adding another to their long list of live-action adaptations.
According to new reports, Disney has announced they will be releasing a live-action telling of Aladdin, with Guy Ritchie in talks to direct. More on the story below.
The Hollywood Reporter was the first to report on the news. While the studio is also working on the prequel Genies, this live-action retelling of Aladdin seems to be completely separate from the project. So it should be interesting to see how the studios will establish that seeing as though they draw from the same source material.
For those who might not remember, Aladdin, directed by John Musker and Ron Clements and released in 1992, followed the adventures of the street rat title character who had big dreams of becoming rich and living in a castle. He nearly succeeds when he is in possession of a magic lamp. The genie inside the lamp offers him three wishes, and together he wins the heart of Jasmine and defeats the evil sorcerer Jafar.
Of course, many of us will remember how Robin Williams gave us one of his most memorable performances as the blue-skinned genie with a knack for making us laugh with impersonations and slapstick humor. Given that Williams tragically passed, it’s not clear how Genie will be portrayed in the film. But whomever takes the role, they will have some pretty big shoes to fill.
John August is currently writing the script which is said to retain many of the musical elements of the original. The animated film went on to win Oscars for best score and best song. Alan Menken wrote the music for the original, with Howard Ashman and Tim Rice writing the lyrics for the songs. Given that there is a musical aspect to this, it will be no surprise if Menken is asked back to write the music for the film the same way he was asked to return to write new music for the live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.
The film will also have a non-linear narrative, which is something right in Ritchie’s wheelhouse as we have seen it in the Sherlock Holmes films and Snatch. Up next for the director is King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.
Dan Lin will produce. No word yet on when this Aladdin will be released.