Will The New Live-Action Aladdin Show Us A Whole New World?
Grow Talk by Sofy Robertson
Hold on to your hats, Disney fans, your favourite studios are bringing you a live-action film of one of its classics: Aladdin.
Following in the footsteps of Beauty and the Beast and The Jungle Book, the much-loved cartoon is to be re-imagined with a non-cartoon cast.
The official trailer, released last week, has whetted fans’ appetites for the May 2019 release.
The trailer begins with a sinister tone as the camera pans over the desert and we see the shadow of a bird against the orange sand. The music adds to the sense of foreboding as the camera continues to pan, revealing a city nestled within the orange sands.
As the scene cuts, we hear a threatening, rumbling voice and see the mouth to the cave clamp shut with a small figure inside. The scene cuts again, this time to Aladdin reaching for the lamp with instrumental music reminiscent of the cartoon version playing in the background.
And this is all we get. It is a teaser, after all. So what else do we know about the upcoming re-imagining of Aladdin?
The Disney re-make of Aladdin sits Guy Ritchie in its directorial chair. Known for fast-paced, bloody action films like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) and the Sherlock (2011-) trilogy, this seems an interesting departure from Ritchie’s usual directorial genre.
Aladdin and Princess Jasmine
The role of Aladdin is played by Mena Massoud who was born in Egypt but raised in Canada. Massoud has some film and television history, with his big break being TV series Open Heart. This will be Massoud’s first leading role.
Naomi Scott, a British actress, is known most recently for her role as the Pink Ranger, Kimberly, in the Power Rangers film. She is of Indian and English descent as her mother is Gujarati Indian from Uganda.
What About Genie?
One of the most important characters to Disney’s Aladdin is, of course, Genie. Voiced by Robin Williams in the cartoon, who won a special Golden Globe award in 1993 for his work on the film, the Genie’s shoes (though I don’t think he even had feet in the cartoon) are hard to fill. Taking on this daunting role is Will Smith, a pleasing choice, though I don’t know if I can imagine anyone other than Williams in that cheeky, blue role.
Most Importantly: Will There Be Singing?
Yes. Let’s just get that out of the way. Alan Menken, the Oscar-winning composer who scored the first film, is back on board for the live-action and has promised two more songs. One song has been revealed as a solo for Princess Jasmine, who did not have her own song in the 1992 original (Vanity Fair).
In an interview with Nerdist, Guy Ritchie said:
“It’d be tough not to make [Aladdin] a musical.”
Phew, what a relief. Personally, I am hoping the other new musical number involves some sort of Genie wrap in the vein of Will Smith’s Fresh Prince. A girl can dream, right?