While a live-action take on Aladdin is certainly a questionable proposition, considering how great that animated pic remains, this tease is admittedly pretty exciting. That music, that confident design, the nods to the classic film. The first trailer below doesn’t offer up too much, but we do get our first look at Mena Massoud – born in Egypt, raised in Canada, for those playing at home – as the titular street urchin who discovers a wish-granting Genie.
The Genie, by the way, will be played by Will Smith; Naomi Scott (Power Rangers, Terra Nova) will star as Jasmine; Marwan Kenzari (What Happened to Monday, Ben-Hur) will play the villainous Jafar; and Navid Negahban (Homeland, Legion) is the Sultan.
It’s going to be interesting to see how director Guy Ritchie fares here. He’s certainly gone a more studio, crowd-friendly route from his Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch days, with films like Sherlock Holmes and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., but he’s never tackled a Disney film – let alone a musical.
The music will remain a key factor. We’ll be getting the classic hits, plus some additions created by La La Land and The Greatest Showman‘s Benj Pasek and Justin Paul with Disney music maestro Alan Menken. They’re also creating another duet for Aladdin and Jasmine; following “A Whole New World”… no pressure!
Aladdin will arrive in Australia on 23 May and hit the US on 24 May 2019. Just two months before that we’ll be getting Tim Burton’s live-action Dumbo, too.
Official synopsis for Aladdin:
“Aladdin” is the exciting tale of the charming street rat Aladdin, the courageous and self-determined Princess Jasmine and the Genie who may be the key to their future. Directed by Guy Ritchie, who brings his singular flair for fast-paced, visceral action to the fictitious port city of Agrabah, the film is written by John August and Ritchie based on Disney’s “Aladdin.”
“Aladdin” stars Will Smith as the larger-than-life Genie; Mena Massoud as the charming scoundrel Aladdin; Naomi Scott as Jasmine, the beautiful, self-determined princess; Marwan Kenzari as Jafar, the powerful sorcerer; Navid Negahban as the Sultan concerned with his daughter’s future; Nasim Pedrad as Dalia, Princess Jasmine’s free-spirited best friend and confidante; Billy Magnussen as the handsome and arrogant suitor Prince Anders; and Numan Acar as Hakim, Jafar’s right-hand man and captain of the palace guards.
The film is produced by Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich with Marc Platt and Kevin De La Noy serving as executive producers. Alan Menken provides the score, which includes new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and lyricists Howard Ashman and Tim Rice and two new songs written by Menken and songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.
The film, which was shot on practical stages in London and on location amidst the stunning desert vistas of Jordan, has a talented creative team helping to bring Agrabah to life, including: director of photography Alan Stewart, production designer Gemma Jackson and costume designer Michael Wilkinson.