Hey, Al! Disney is moving forward quickly with some of their live-action remakes and given the success of those that have already been released, it’s hardly surprising. After Maleficent, Cinderella, and The Jungle Book took the box office by storm (with the latter finishing just shy of $1billion), many more classics are getting a 21st-century makeover.
Mulan, Dumbo, Pocahontas and The Lion King, to be directed by Jungle Book helmer Jon Favreau, are all currently in pre-production but one film that looks set to follow is Aladdin. Guy Ritchie, director of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and Sherlock Holmes, is taking on the new adaptation and while many have given their two cents on just how the movie will look, the biggest job is to find a Genie.
In one of Disney’s biggest challenges thus far, they and Ritchie must try to find a worthy successor to the late Robin Williams, who memorably brought the character to life in the 1991 animated classic. But they are taking a stab and somewhat from left-field, Deadline is reporting that none other than Will Smith is in talks to take over the role. The actor has previously been in talks for Tim Burton’s Dumbo remake, and while those talks brought down, it seems Disney are keen to secure the star.
No word yet on who else may feature in the film but it was reported a little while back that an open casting call had started to find “unknown actors of Middle Eastern descent” to play Aladdin and Princess Jasmine. John August (Big Fish, Frankenweenie) is writing the script for the new version.
On the film, Ritchie previously said: “My stories are really about street hustlers. That’s what I know how to do. And Aladdin is a classic street hustler who makes good.”
Aladdin is set for release in 2019.