Disney plans to transport its fans back to its “whole new world” in 2019, as the conglomerate announced the live-action musical revival of its 1992 hit cartoon “Aladdin”, set to appear as Disney’s latest movie.
The movie, set to be released next May, stars Egyptian-Canadian actor Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Jasmine, Will Smith as Genie and Marwan Kenzari as evil Jafar. Guy Ritchie directed the movie, which was shot in a variety of locations in the UK and Jordan.
Smith fills in for legendary Robin Williams, who originally played the iconic Genie. He announced his excitement to play the part, posting on his Instagram account, “LEMME OUT!! Can’t wait for y’all to see Me BLUE! 🙂 #aladdin”, attaching a photo with the genie lamp and the motto “choose wisely”.
Disney released an official trailer that says the movie includes the original songs that were written by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, in addition to new songs with the lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.
The trailer opens with an aerial view of a desert, with a bird’s shadow emerging. The scene cuts to the bird flying towards a city and then over the city at night, until it reaches a cave with a tiger’s mouth, presumably the legendary Cave of Wonders, with Aladdin entering as a rough voice says, “only one may enter here…one whose worth lies far within…the diamond in the rough.”
The trailer then begins a slow rendition of the iconic song “Friend Like Me” as it displays Disney’s name and the title “Aladdin”. The trailer ends with Aladdin’s (Massoud’s) face as he reaches out to grab the genie’s lamp.
“Aladdin” tells the story of a street rat who, after finding a magic lamp, disguises himself as a prince to hide it from the evil Grand Vizier Jafaar and woo Princess Jasmine, a princess he loves. The original cartoon starred the voices of Scott Weinger, Robin Williams, Linda Larkin and Jonathan Freeman.
“Aladdin” debuted in 1992, grossing $19.2 million in its opening weekend, becoming number two at the US Box Office following “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York”. However, eight weeks later, the film finally reached the box office top spot, breaking the record for the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve with $32.2 million. The film became the highest grossing movie of its year, grossing $217 million in the United States and over $504 million worldwide. It remained Disney’s highest grossing film until “The Lion King” knocked it out of the top spot in 1994.
The first announcement of an Aladdin live-action adaptation was reported in 2016, with the cast joining in 2017.
This is not the first Disney cartoon to be remade as a live-action movie. Disney began its direction for live-action movies in 2010, when it released “Alice in Wonderland”, starring Johnny Depp. It then moved on to “Maleficent”, a twist on the 1959 classic “Sleeping Beauty”. However, this version was told to the favor of Disney’s notorious evil queen, in contrast to the cartoon version, which makes her out to be an absolute villain.
In 2015, the all-time-favorite “Cinderella” premiered, starring Lily James and Richard Madden. In yet another twist, the movie was not made to be a musical, though the original movie included some of Disney’s most famous songs, such as “Bippity Boppity Boo”. Still, the movie was a huge success, grossing $200 million in the box office. In the same year, Disney released its most successful live-action movie at that time, “The Jungle Book”, which made $364 million.
This was followed by Emma Watson and Luke Evans’s “Beauty and the Beast”, which grossed $1.2 billion worldwide, becoming Disney’s highest grossing live-action.