We all smelt the oncoming ALADDIN live-action remake from a mile (and several billion prospective box office dollars) away; after the JUNGLE BOOK, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, MULAN, LITTLE MERMAID, and THE LION KING reboots all got the ~realness~ treatment, ALADDIN’s magic lamp antics weren’t likely to avoid an in-the-flesh makeover for long. Disney’s doing its best to reproduce its golden age of animation in 3 dimensions– a venture pretty much guaranteed to draw massive crowds of both nostalgic millenials and next-gen itty-bitties.
As such, some pretty distinctly unDisney names have been attached to these star-studded, new-and-sexy remakes thus far: SWINGERS’ Jon Favreau has taken on both JUNGLE BOOK and LION KING; the TWILIGHT franchise’s Bill Condon is currently transforming BEAUTY AND THE BEAST; and Sofia Coppola was once signed on to imbue her dreamy girl power aesthetic in THE LITTLE MERMAID. Disney properties may still largely appeal to kiddos, but with casts and directors like the ones they’ve assembled for the live-action productions (as well as their recent Marvel and STAR WARS acquisitions), they’re quickly establishing themselves as a machine determined to monopolize the entire movie industry. No one’s safe from Disney’s influence.
Not even Guy Ritchie.
That’s right. The guy behind SNATCH, LOCK, STOCK, AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS is directing ALADDIN. Ritchie’s repertoire thus far has largely involved gangsters & thugs (and in the case of SHERLOCK HOLMES, classy 19th-century gangsters & thugs)–not so much with the musical numbers, animal sidekicks and happy endings. But, as Nerdist points out, ALADDIN is, at its core, a “long-con flick–the sort on which Ritchie has built his career […] Aladdin’s elaborate and magic-addled ruse to dupe Princess Jasmine into thinking he’s some gallant prince isn’t too far outside the realm of Ritchie’s comfort zone.”
Ritchie will be adapting screenwriter John August’s work for the screen, who has penned Tim Burton films like BIG FISH, CORPSE BRIDE, and CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. So naturally, the upcoming film will employ a “nonlinear” storyline–and probably some weirder, darker elements we’ll be interested to see.
However, Nerdist also suggest that Ritchie, while a great choice for cool-factor, may have been another white-washing misstep from Disney, who could have taken the opportunity to put the project in the hands of an Arab director or screenwriter with connections a little closer to home to the original story the fairytale flick is based on.
What do you think? Is Ritchie the right choice for the film?