There's a new 2019 live-action Aladdin movie (screenwriter: Vanessa Taylor) in the works, and it's a whole new world for duet opportunities. In fact, fans have been freaking out over rumors that Selena Gomez and Zayn Malik are collaborating on an Aladdin song. While the gossip is currently unsubstantiated (Bustle has reached out to both artists for comment, but did not receive an immediate response), there's tabloid fodder going around that the two singers might harmonize with a recording of "A Whole New World," the breakout song from Disney's original 1992 animated feature. If the story is true, there would be a lot of people excited to hear the two pop powerhouses team up.
The rumor seems to have begun with a tweet from Selena Gomez Source, which declared it with the word "rumor" in all-caps. On top of that, they took care to mention the news hadn't been confirmed by either artists. But it certainly wouldn't be unheard of for big entertainment artists to release a recording of a Disney song. Back when the animated Aladdin was released, R&B artists Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle released their version of "A Whole New World" that played over the movie's end credits. The recording peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in March of 1993, unseating Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" (which itself was off of The Bodyguard soundtrack; 1993 was a big year for soundtracks). Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson's duet of "Beauty and the Beast" also charted in the top 10 in 1991, while Vanessa Williams version of "Colors of the Wind" (from Pocahontas) peaked at No. 4 on the same chart in 1995.
Most recently, for the 2017 live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast (editor: Virginia Katz), John Legend and Ariana Grande released their duet of the movie's titular song. The music video recreated elements of the film's iconic ballroom scene and leaned in heavily on the rose imagery.
Like the highly successful Beauty and the Beast adaptation, which was the second-highest grossing domestic film in 2017, the Aladdin live-action reimagining is keeping much of the original '90s movie plot and the songs that were composed by Alan Menken with lyrics by Tim Rice (Lion King) and Howard Ashman (Beauty and the Beast). The movie will also feature two new songs from Menken, because there's no point in redoing a classic if you don't put a new spin on it.
The anticipated musical features Mena Massoud (Open Heart) as Aladdin, the low-level thief with a heart of gold, and Naomi Scott (Power Rangers) as Princess Jasmine. Will Smith is taking over the late-great Robin William's part as the genie, and Guy Ritchie is set to direct. Based on Smith's social media post with a photo from the set, it looks like everything is coming together swimmingly.
If Gomez and Zayn are this film's John Legend and Ariana Grande, you can already imagine the music video now; hopefully, it involves the two of them wearing silk and soaring past pyramids and the like on a magic carpet. Here's what fans had to say about the possibility.
Some people could not contain their emotions:
Some were thanking god about the possibility:
Other fans were a bit more skeptical about the duet:
Others just didn't believe it to be true:
Even if the two did record a song for the movie together, the track likely won't be released until closer to the film's theater debut. When Zayn and Taylor Swift released "I Don't Wanna Live Forever," off the Fifty Shades Darker (casting by Julie Schubert) soundtrack, the single dropped just a few months before the movie premiered. Legend and Grande released the music video for their "Beauty and the Beast" just over a week before the 2017 film premiered. Waiting all the way until 2019 for a Gomez–Malek collaboration is asking a lot of fans. Maybe the two former teen idols can release another duet in the meantime.