Disney is all about live action remakes of their famous classics these days with titles like Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, Dumbo, and many others getting the live-action reboot treatment. And now Aladdin is stepping up to the plate. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney is negotating with Guy Ritchie to direct the 1992 animated classic reboot. This John August-written script, which reportedly will include many of the same musical elements from the original film, is very different from the material Ritchie usually directs. Traditionally, the English director works in the action film-genre on films full of twists, turns, and aggressive English male leads like Sherlock Holmes, Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels, The Man From U.N.C.L.E, and more. But Disney is reportedly referring to the film — which will be produced by Ritchie's previous collaborator on Sherlock Homes, Dan Lin — as an "ambitious and non-traditional take on Aladdin," so maybe the sort of touch Ritchie and Lin bring to the project will be just right.
One aspect of the "non-traditional" side of this film that Ritchie will definitely have pinned down is the non-linear format Disney hopes to follow, reports THR. This device is one Ritchie used as a more dynamic way to tell the story in the crime thrillers which put him on the map, Lock, Stock, And Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. But just because Ritchie happens to be a master of that sort of format, can he take on one of Disney's beloved classics?
Ritchie and crew definitely have a high bar to attempt to leap, as the original Aladdin, which retells the Middle Eastern folktale about a boy who is granted three wishes and the evil sorcerer who tries to destroy him, was a huge success. In fact, the film was the highest-grossing movie of the year, and won two Academy Awards for score and best song ("A Whole New World"). The movie proceeded to grab two more sequels, an entire franchise, and was translated for the stage. Meanwhile, the performance of the late Robin Williams as the Genie has continued to be an iconic part of the film, so portraying the character will not be an easy task.
Maybe, Disney is heading in the right direction with Ritchie. There's no way anyone could ever re-create the awesomeness that once was, so a completely fresh look at the story (a "whole new world" if you will) could be a great idea. There's no word yet as to when this film will begin production, but if Disney is in talks with a director, official dates will surely soon follow. If anyone happens to have stumbled upon a magic lamp, be sure to give it a rub and make one of your wishes, "I wish that the live-action Aladdin will be as good as the animated one." It will truly be a selfless and kind wish for the good of mankind.
Images: Walt Disney Picture, Giphy (2)