The production looks grand, much of the cast looks spot on, the music and tone is decidedly Aladdin… and then we have our first look at the new Genie. Yikes. It’s as though the visual effects still aren’t finished, which, assuming that’s the case, makes it mind boggling that Disney would want to unveil this particular footage. Put it back in; it’s not done yet. At least… he’s blue. See for yourself below.
Questionable Genie effects aside, we’re pumped to see what’s on offer here. Guy Ritchie (Snatch, Sherlock Holmes) directs his first musical, with classic songs from the original animated film, plus some additions created by La La Land and The Greatest Showman‘s Benj Pasek & Justin Paul with eight-time Oscar-winning Disney music maestro Alan Menken.
Aladdin, starring Mena Massoud as the titular street urchin, Naomi Scott (Power Rangers, Terra Nova) as Jasmine, Marwan Kenzari (What Happened to Monday, Ben-Hur) as Jafar, and Navid Negahban (Homeland, Legion) as the Sultan, arrives in Australia on May 23 and opens the US on May 24.
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.