Guy Ritchie to direct live-action Aladdin for Disney
The Hollywood Reporter brings today’s movie news mad-libs by reporting that Guy Ritchie, famous for his London-set gangster films, will direct the live-action version of Aladdin for The Walt Disney Studios. John August has penned the script for the film, which will reportedly keep the musical elements of the 1992 film. In addition, THR notes that Ritchie will approach the film with a non-linear presentation. Dan Lin (Sherlock Holmes, The LEGO Movie) will produce the film under his Lin Pictures banner
Ritchie made a name for himself with his 1998 debut film, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, which he followed with 2000’s Snatch, 2005’s Revolver, and 2008’s Rock’n’rolla. Since then, he helmed the two Sherlock Holmes feature films starring Robert Downey Jr., which are the highest grossing films of his career with a combined total of $1.07 billion, and the big-screen reboot of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. His next film will be King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, which debuts on March 24, 2017.
Based on the Middle-Eastern folktale Aladdin and the Magic Lamp, the 1992 animated film was co-directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, who had previously-directed The Little Mermaid and would go on to make other Disney classics including Hercules, Treasure Planet, The Princess and the Frog, and the upcoming Moana. It famously featured Robin Williams as the film’s genie, along with Scott Weinger as Aladdin, Jonathan Freeman as Jafar, Linda Larkin as Princess Jasmine, Frank Welker as Aladdin’s monkey pal Abu, plus Douglas Seale as The Sultan, and Gilbert Gottfried as Iago. Aladdin was nominated for five Academy Awards and won two, including Best Original Score and Best Original Song for “A Whole New World.”
The film would go on to spawn two direct-to-video sequels, The Return of Jafar and Aladdin and the King of Thieves, plus a TV series simply titled Aladdin that would bring things full circle and later crossover with Hercules: The Animated Series.
Aladdin joins a long list of live-action remakes by Disney of their classic animated films, including the previously-released Cinderella in 2015, this year’s The Jungle Book and Pete’s Dragon, plus next year’s Beauty and the Beast, and the upcoming The Lion King, Mulan, Dumbo, and more.