Disney's Aladdin live-action remake news: Middle Eastern casting call, director and what to expect

Aladdin is a film that’s held dear by many a Disney fan – namely thanks to Robin Williams’ stellar performance as the Genie.

Now the animated classic is getting the remake live action treatment, following in the footsteps of The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast (March 17, 2017).

There’s not as much information available for Aladdin, so we can’t show you the world (sorry), but check back as more news develops. We’ll update this as more is revealed.

When will it be released?

The original Aladdin was released in 1992
(Photo: Disney)

There’s no set date at the moment. Mulan is due in 2018 thought, and Beauty and the Beast is out soon (2017).

Who will direct?

Director Guy Ritchie will take the helm
(Photo: Getty)

Guy Ritchie is set to direct. He was made famous for Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. He last directed The Man From U.N.C.L.E and King Arthur.

The man behind Sherlock Holmes has been trusted with the job to bring the classic to the big screen again, this time in live action form.

Dan Lin, who was a producer on Holmes, is also producing what Disney calls a ‘nontraditional’ take on Aladdin. Jonathan Eirich will be executive producer.

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Disney classic remakes

Who has written it?

John August has written the script, which sources say will keep many of the musical elements of the original.

Who will star?

No one yet! A casting call has gone out though.

Luke Pasqualino has also been linked to the role of Aladdin.

Will Luke star as Aladdin?
(Photo: BBC)

A source speaking to Mirror Online last year suggested if Luke was taken on he could make more than one movie.

It won’t be whitewashed

The casting call is good news for those worried the film will be whitewashed. There was criticism for Mulan’s casting – as rumoured names included Jennifer Lawrence – and The Great Wall.

The film will have Middle Eastern leads, staying true to the animation and the original story.

What’s it about?

There’s not much of an indication on what has changed yet, but they are keeping many of the original songs if rumours are to be trusted. They sometimes can be, no really.

The original 1992 film retold the Middle Eastern folk tale of a young man granted three wishes by a genie trapped in a lamp and the evil sorcerer who wants the magical object – and its power.

Robin Williams voiced the Genie
(Photo: Disney)

The genie was voiced by Robin Williams, who was a large part of its success which saw it the highest grossing film that year. It also won Oscars for best song and best score, the former for A Whole New World.

The promise to make it nontraditional is likely to mean its nonlinear – the out of order style being a hallmark of Ritchie’s approach.

When is it shooting?

This summer, if the casting call is anything to go by.

Will Robin Williams’ voice be used?

Nothing of Robin Williams’ outtakes can be used due to his will. He didn’t want his work exploited after his death, so none of the footage can be used until 25 years after his death.

Sadly his voice won’t be used

It scuppered plans for a prequel to Aladdin looking at where Genie came from apparently.

The Robin Williams trust has “bequeathed rights to his name, signature, photograph and likeness to the Windfall Foundation,” a charitable organization that Williams founded via his lawyers. Not only does the provision prevent Williams’ likeness from being used in any advertisement until 2039, but it also bars anyone from developing a hologram of any of the comedian‘s previous stand-up routines, or ”digitally inserting him into a new film.” The measure is also meant to spare his family any tax liabilities on his posthumous earnings.

Are you looking forward to the remake? Who would you like to see cast? Let us know in the comments.

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