Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Live Action 'Aladdin' To Be Musical (Probably) & Keen To Avoid 'Prince of Persia' Mistake

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from the Broadway adaptation of Disney's Aladdin
Guy Ritchie, the film's director, has answered the 'other' question about Aladdin: Now that musicals are back in vogue, and music was such a big part of the animated feature, will the new live action movie have songs - and dancing - too?
“I think it’d be tough not to make (Aladdin) a musical. It’s too early, because I’ve really just immersed myself into that project. So I’m still looking for cast members, we still haven’t found exactly which direction we’re going in. I’m confident at some stage it will reveal itself to me. But right now it’s just a bit too premature.” (source)
Ritchie's response seems pretty clear, though he does mention it's early days, and it should be taken into account that film morph a lot in the development stage AND that Guy Ritchie is not a director who does the 'typical/standard thing' with his movies. (For reference, Ritchie's better known films are: "Snatch", "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels", the "Sherlock Holmes" movies and "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.")

With Will Smith on the official IMDB page (but a qualifying 'rumored' recently added next to his name, since no contract has yet been signed) and Ritchie's direction, the potential for a new dimension of the Aladdin story is obviously there, though it's going to be difficult to ever get past the lack of Williams as the Genie.

This will be an interesting film to follow the development of, whichever way it goes, however. Disney is keen to avoid the embarrassing white washing present in Prince of Persia but the questions is how authentic will they/can they go without getting tangled (pun intended!), especially with the songs from the original?

There was even an unsuccessful petition to pressure Disney to produce the remake based on the original story - and by original, they mean with Aladdin being Chinese, not of Middle-Eastern origin. We're thinking it's almost certain that direction isn't being considered. Instead, we think how Disney handled the relatively recent Broadway adaptation probably has some clues... BUT, it's early days...
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Here's a handy Disney versus original comparison of the story of Aladdin. While it would make for fascinating viewing in today's push 'n' pull on inclusivity and equality in Hollywood, we're not sure Disney would be happy to take on all the cans of worms this potentially would contain.

Oh, and officially announced yesterday, Guy Ritchie Wants You To Audition For (the lead/title role in) Aladdin. Ritchie apparently is looking for 'new' actors (ie. not necessarily inexperienced, but unknowns, not stars) for the roles of Aladdin and Jasmine, and singing, at least, has to be part of the package. Good luck folks!

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