Disney has been remaking every single one of its famous animated films as a live-action adaptation to the point that I feel like it is all they’re making these days. They go as far as to remake The Lion King which will probably just end up being a completely photorealistic but animated film anyway.
Along with The Lion King, classics like Mulan and Beauty and the Beast are on their way, so it was just a matter of time before Aladdin would be announced. Disney is now close to signing on director Guy Ritchie to direct the film, with a screenplay by John August.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of a live-action Aladdin project, as Disney was also working on a spinoff called Genies, which would have been a prequel about how the Genie ended up in the lamp. We haven’t heard much about that film in a while, so it could have been abandoned in favor of this adaptation.
It’s uncertain how they will approach the role of the Genie, who the late Robin Williams stole the show with. One interesting concept that I’ve heard is to cast James Iglehart, who won a Tony for his portrayal of the character in the Broadway adaptation.
I’m a pretty big fan of that idea because the only other direction you could go in is to hire another comedian to bring a very different take to the character and I’m not sure how well that would work. Whoever is tasked with brining the character to life will probably have to don a motion capture suit in order to pull him off.
The Hollywood Reporter also has a few other details of the film saying that the live action adaptation will keep many of the musical elements of the original and take a non-traditional approach to the project with non-linear narrative. Ritchie is no stranger to that type of storytelling having directed Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. I’m not sure what a non-traditional approach means exactly, since I can’t really figure out how to mix the film up in a logical non-linear narrative, but it sounds intriguing none-the-less.
Disney hasn’t announced a release date for Aladdin but it does have six slots available from 2017 to 2020 available to release the film.