By this point, with a teaser trailer already released (you can watch it here), this will be a case of stating the obvious already. Then again, it bears repeating: It’s all systems go for the live action Aladdin! Through casting controversies (The Washington Post pointed out that Bill Magnussen’s new character raised quite a few eyebrows) and filming delays, the Guy Ritchie-helmed movie will finally hit theaters in May of next year.
To recap, here’s what we know as of the moment:
• The movie was directed by, again, Guy Ritchie, with the screenplay penned by John August, whose credits include, among others, Go and Frankenweenie.
• Award-winning composer Alan Menken composed the film’s music, over two decades after he did the same for the animated version.
• Oscar winner Benj Pasek and Tony winner Justin Paul helped Menken. As reported here, both Pasek and Paul wrote news songs for the live action film.
• Will Smith (as the voice of Genie) heads the cast of characters. Joining him are Mena Massoud (as Aladdin), Naomi Scott (Princess Jasmine), Marwan Kenzari (Jafar), and Navid Negahban (Sultan).
• Despite the criticism, the original voice of Princess Jasmine — the inimitable Lea Salonga — approves of the cast as reported by Philippine news outlet The Philippine Star.
Smith, the social media savvy lead star of the film, unsurprisingly took to Facebook to unveil the first posters for this much-anticipated Aladdin remake. It is expected to reintroduce to a global audience a beloved, age-old tale, and that makes perfect sense. For so long, multimedia have — in some ways, at least — brought attention to literary classics, keeping them relevant through the years. Movies, naturally, are a popular choice in this regard. The 1992 animated film Aladdin is a prime example as it is loosely based on the Arabic folktale “Aladdin’s Wonderful Lamp” by Syrian storyteller Youhenna Diab. Said tale was one of the later additions to the collection of Middle Eastern tales titled One Thousand and One Nights, or simply Arabian Nights. Lately, digital media is being used increasingly as well, with mobile games, in particular, bringing these famous narratives closer to a younger, wider demographic. The slot game Arabian Nights from online outlet SlotSource is inspired by the aforementioned One Thousand and One Nights. Disney’s forthcoming Aladdin live action film will continue this tradition, with Diab’s centuries-old tale making a comeback on the big screen 29 years later.
Indeed, it’s all systems go for Aladdin, the live action remake. Genie is all giddy already, as he should be, for he’ll be getting out of his magic lamp soon enough. May 24, 2019 is the day, so mark it on your calendars now.