The upcoming live-action remake of Disney’s beloved 1992 animated classic, Aladdin, has snatched up Guy Ritchie as its director.
Ritchie has directed a number of cult-favorite action flicks like Snatch, RocknRolla, and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, as well as more recent films like The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and the Robert Downey Jr.-led Sherlock Holmes films. His next film is King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, slated for release in 2017.
In a way, the pairing of a live-action Aladdin with the directorial styling of Guy Ritchie makes sense. Titular hero Aladdin begins the original tale as a thief in the city of Agrabah, stealing food to survive and living in abandoned buildings with his monkey pal, Abu. Aladdin finds himself in possession of a magic lamp, which houses a genie who grants anyone three wishes. Of course, there are are some unsavory characters who want to get their hands on the lamp, and some romance sprinkled in, too. There seems to be plenty of opportunity for Ritchie’s signature heists gone wrong played to humorous effect in a plot like that.
It also makes sense that Disney would want to return to this particular creative well. The original Aladdin won several Oscars and did phenomenally well at the box office. That success spawned an entire franchise comprising sequel films, animated TV series, books, video games, and even theatrical productions.
It’s impossible to foretell what the film will ultimately be like, but John August, who wrote the script, says the musical aspects of the original will be present in the live-action film, and coupled with Guy Ritchie’s singular directorial style, it’s not hard to get at least some sense of what the studio might ultimately be going for in the final film.
Aladdin joins the rapidly growing list of animated Disney classics getting the live action and/or CG treatment in the wake of Jon Favreau’s successful live-action Jungle Book remake, including Mulan and The Lion King. There is currently no official title, casting announcement, or release date for the Aladdin remake, but it’s only a matter of time.