Guy Ritchie In Talks to Direct Live Action Aladdin

Guy Ritchie is in talks with Disney to direct a live action adaptation of Aladdin.

According to a report from the Hollywood Reporter, Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) is in negotiations with Disney to direct their live action adaptation of the 1992 classic Aladdin.  Here’s a segment from The Hollywood Reporter article.

“Dan Lin, who was a producer on the Holmes movies for Warner Bros., is producing what Disney touts will be an ambitious and non-traditional take on Aladdin via his Lin Pictures banner. Jonathan Eirich will executive produce the movie and oversee it for Lin Pictures.

John August wrote the script for the live-action version, which sources say will keep many of the musical elements of the original. Still to be determined is the approach to the Genie, which to this day remains closely associated to Williams’ singular and defining performance.

Also, part of the non-traditional aspect of the project is the studio’s intent to make it non-linear, a move right out of the Ritchie playbook. The helmer made his name directing snappy crime thrillers such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch that used that kind of storytelling.”

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Aladdin was my favorite Disney movie growing up.  My parents can tell you about a road trip from NYC to Nebraska where I quoted the entire films from memory when I was only 10 years old (that must have been loads of fun for them).  All that to say I hold great affections towards the property and would love to see the film adapted to live action if it’s anywhere near the same quality.  Here’s the thing, when I think of directors that could do the story justice Guy Ritchie is not the first name that comes to mind.  His made a name for himself with movies like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch and RocknRolla and even his adaptation of Sherlock Holmes strays from the source material and is a gritty action affair.  Those project aren’t in the same ballpark as Aladdin as far as tone.  It’s certainly possible that they’re looking for a dramatically different take (they suggested above it would be “non-traditional”), but I don’t see how the songs could be included in an adaptation that is too far removed from the original’s tone.

And that naturally also leads us to the elephant in the room.  It’s impossible to discuss the animated Aladdin without talking about Robin William’s Genie.  Whoever takes the role will inevitably be compared to the late actor and I can’t think of anyone who can bring the same energy and unrestrained personality to the character.  If you have a suggestion for who you’d like to see tackle the role of the Genie feel free to share in the discussion board below.  There was talk that Disney was developing an Aladdin prequel called Genies that would focus on Aladdin’s genie (and likely others) prior to the events in the movie.  It’s assumed that Disney’s choice to move forward with an Aladdin adaptation puts the kibosh on those plans.

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In case you’ve been living under a rock, this isn’t the first live action adaptation being developed by Disney off of an animated classic.  In addition to recent successes like Alice In Wonderland, Maleficent, Cinderella and Jungle Book, they have projects in various stages of development including  Beauty and the Beast (coming out in March), Mulan (with a November 2018 release date), Little MermaidDumbo, Prince Charming, Winnie the Pooh, Sword in the Stone,Pinocchio, Night on Bald MountainCruella (101 Dalmatians)The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,  and a movie based on Snow White’s sister.

What do you think, are you excited about the prospect of a live action version of Disney’s Aladdin?  What is your dream cast to fill the roles?  There’s no target release date as of yet, but I will keep you informed as soon as I learn any new information about this project.

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