Aladdin -2019 Film

Aladdin is an upcoming American musical romantic fantasy adventure film directed by Guy Ritchie, from the screenplay co-written with John August, and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. It is a live-action adaptation of Disney's 1992 animated film of the same name, which is in turn based on the Arabic folktale of the same name from One Thousand and One Nights and the French interpretation by Antoine Galland. The film stars Mena Massoud as the title character alongside Will Smith, Naomi Scott, Marwan Kenzari, Navid Negahban, Nasim Pedrad, Billy Magnussen, and Numan Acar.

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Aladdin
Teaser poster
Directed byGuy Ritchie
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on
Starring
Music byAlan Menken
CinematographyAlan Stewart
Edited byJames Herbert
Production
company
Distributed byWalt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • May 24, 2019 (2019-05-24) (United States)
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Aladdin is an upcoming American musical romantic fantasy adventure film directed by Guy Ritchie, from the screenplay co-written with John August, and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. It is a live-action adaptation of Disney's 1992 animated film of the same name, which is in turn based on the Arabic folktale of the same name from One Thousand and One Nights and the French interpretation by Antoine Galland. The film stars Mena Massoud as the title character alongside Will Smith, Naomi Scott, Marwan Kenzari, Navid Negahban, Nasim Pedrad, Billy Magnussen, and Numan Acar.

In October 2016, Disney announced Guy Ritchie would direct a live-action Aladdin remake. Smith was the first member of the cast to join, signing on to voice Genie in July 2017, and later that month Massoud and Scott were confirmed for the two lead roles. Principal photography began that September at Longcross Studios in Surrey, England, also filming in the Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan, and lasted until January 2018.

Aladdin is scheduled to be released in the United States on May 24, 2019.

Cast

  • Will Smith as Genie:
    A Jinn who has the nigh omnipotent power to grant three wishes to whoever possesses his magic lamp. Smith said that he was "terrified" while playing the character, but that "[He] found a lane that pays homage" to Robin Williams' performance in the original film.[1] Smith will physically portray the character when he is in the guise of a human, while his genie form will be CGI and blue in color.[2][3]
  • Mena Massoud as Aladdin:
    An Agrabah thief and street rat who is smitten with the Sultan's daughter.
  • Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine:
    The Sultan's daughter and the princess of Agrabah who wants to have a say in how she lives her life. Scott said that the character "will be strong and have fun, but also get it wrong and be emotional. She's a multidimensional woman, and she doesn't have to just be one thing. So in this movie, you see her go on such a roller coaster, as opposed to her one goal being to fall in love or get married."[4]
  • Marwan Kenzari as Jafar, a nefarious and deceptive sorcerer, the Grand vizier of Agrabah, and the chief advisor to the Sultan who secretly devises a plot to overthrow the Sultan as the ruler of Agrabah by acquiring the magic lamp containing the Genie.
  • Navid Negahban as The Sultan, the wise ruler of Agrabah who is eager to find a capable husband for his daughter Jasmine.
  • Nasim Pedrad as Dalia, Princess Jasmine's loyal handmaiden and confidante. A new character that did not appear in the original film.
  • Billy Magnussen as Prince Anders, a suitor and potential husband for Princess Jasmine from the kingdom of Skånland. A new character that did not appear in the original film[3][5]
  • Numan Acar as Hakim, Jafar's right-hand man and head of the palace guards.
  • Robby Haynes as Razoul, the royal Captain of the Guard of Agrabah.
  • Frank Welker as the voices of the Cave of Wonders, a sand guardian that resembles a form of a giant head of a tiger who has been tasked to protect the magic lamp from intruders and give it to those who are worthy.[6][7] Welker also voices Abu, Aladdin's kleptomaniac pet monkey with a falsetto voice.[6][7] Welker reprises these two roles from the original film.

Production

Development and casting

On October 10, 2016, it was announced that Guy Ritchie would direct a live-action Aladdin film with John August penning the screenplay for Walt Disney Pictures with Dan Lin attached as producer. The studio said that the film would be "an ambitious and nontraditional" take on the tale of Aladdin that would keep much of the musical elements of the original film. On the non-traditional aspect, the studio planned for the film to be told in a nonlinear format.[8][9]

In February 2017, Lin said that they were looking for a diverse cast and that they would not try "to make Prince of Persia".[10] A worldwide casting call for the lead roles of Aladdin and Princess Jasmine commenced in March 2017, with principal production set to begin in the UK in July 2017 until January 2018.[11] On April 19, 2017, it was reported that either Gabriel Iglesias[12] or Will Smith was in talks for the role of Genie, for which the latter was confirmed in July.[13][14][15] In May 2017, Jade Thirlwall was in talks for the part of Princess Jasmine.[16]

On July 11, 2017, it was announced that principal production on Aladdin had been pushed back by a month, to August 2017, due to struggles in finding the right actor to portray the titular role. Over 2,000 actors and actresses had auditioned for the roles of Aladdin and Jasmine but that finding a male lead of Middle-Eastern or Indian descent in his 20s who could act and sing had proven difficult. Naomi Scott and Tara Sutaria were the final two actresses in the running for the role of Jasmine, but neither could be cast until a chemistry test was done with whomever was cast as Aladdin. The studio was interested in casting Dev Patel or Riz Ahmed for the lead role of Aladdin, but neither were considered likely to obtain the role. In what became the final rounds of screen testing, actors Achraf Koutet, Mena Massoud, and George Kosturos were still in the running for the role of Aladdin. However, the studio had begun perusing old audition tapes for the role, having not been satisfied by the latest round of screen tests.[14]

At the 2017 D23 Expo, on July 15, it was announced that Massoud had been cast as Aladdin and Scott had been cast as Jasmine, ending a four month long open casting call.[17][15] On July 17, 2017, it was announced that Disney had hired Vanessa Taylor to polish the original screenplay by August, specifically to do some "character work" and what is called "script doctoring".[18] Meanwhile, Richie and the studio focused on casting the other main roles with filming slated to start in August in London.[19] In August 2017, Marwan Kenzari joined the cast as Jafar with Nasim Pedrad cast in a newly created role as "a hand maid and friend of Jasmine" who will serve as a "comic relief" and Numan Acar as Hakim.[20][21] The following month, Billy Magnussen joined the cast in a newly created role as Prince Anders alongside Navid Negahban as the Sultan.[22][23] In November 2017, Robby Haynes was cast as Razoul.[24]

When asked about Ritchie's take on the film, Pasek & Paul described it as "very muscular and action-packed".[25] Despite initial reports, the animal characters Abu, Iago, and Rajah from the original film will be appearing in some capacity.[26][27] On December 20, 2018, Gilbert Gottfried said he was not asked to reprise his role as Iago.[28]

Filming

Principal photography commenced on September 6, 2017, at Longcross Studios in Longcross, Surrey, England, and concluded on January 24, 2018.[29][30][31][32] Part of the film was shot in Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan.[33][34] Reshoots took place during the month of August 2018.[35]

Music

At the 2017 D23 Expo, Alan Menken announced that he will be co-writing new songs for the film with songwriters of La La Land, Pasek & Paul.[36] Menken would also score the film, which will also include the original film's songs written by Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice.[29] Pasek and Paul wrote the lyrics for two new songs.[37] One of them is a solo for the character of Jasmine, which Paul called "a beautiful piece of music", praising Scott's singing as "incredible".[38] The other song is a new duet for Aladdin and Jasmine, which Paul referred to as "a sweet song".[38] The duo also wrote a new lyric for the original film's song "Arabian Nights".[38]

Post-production

The visual effects will be provided by Industrial Light & Magic and supervised by Michael Mullholland, Daniele Bigi and David Seager with the help of DNEG, Nzviage and Proof.[39]

Release

Aladdin is scheduled to be released in 3D, Dolby Cinema and IMAX by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures on May 24, 2019, replacing the original date set for Star Wars: Episode IX.[40][41]

Marketing

Will Smith debuted the first official poster on October 10, 2018.[42] The teaser trailer was released the following day.[43] In December 2018, Entertainment Weekly offered a first official look at the cast in costume on the cover of their issue for the most anticipated films of 2019.[44] On February 10, 2019, Disney debuted a special sneak peek of the film during the 61st Annual Grammy Awards which was met with largely negative feedback from audiences, primarily due to the appearance of the Genie in his blue design, created via motion capture effects.[45][46][47] The negative reception sparked a large amount of memes and Photoshop edits mocking Will Smith's appearance in the sneak peek, several of which humorously comparing it with Tobias Fünke (from Arrested Development) painted in blue in an attempt to join the Blue Man Group.[48][49]

Controversies

The film has drawn criticism for its decision to add a new original white character by casting actor Billy Magnussen as Prince Anders which fans and critics deemed "unnecessary" and "offensive", sparking accusations of whitewashing to the film while pointing out the irony regarding the worldwide search for actors and actresses to play the leads in connection to the controversy.[50][51][52] The decision to hire a half-Indian actress Naomi Scott to play the lead of female Princess Jasmine has also drawn criticism as well as accusations of colorism, since some people expected the role to go to an Arab or Middle Eastern actress. However, certain members of the cast, particularly Negahban and Pedrad, are of Iranian descent while Acar is of Turkish descent.[53] In December 2018, Julie Ann Crommett, Disney's Vice President of Multicultural Engagement, said the decision to cast Scott as Jasmine reflected a mixing or association of different cultures in a broad region that consists of the Middle East, South Asia and China by extension, which all make up the Silk Road.[54] The real intention for Agrabah was for it to be the center of the Silk Road and added that Jasmine's mother would be from a land that was not Agrabah.[54]

In January 2018, it was reported that the white extras were being applied brown make-up during filming in order to "blend in", which caused an outcry and condemnation among fans and critics, branding the practice as "an insult to the whole industry" while accusing the producers of not recruiting people with Middle-Eastern or North African heritage. Disney responded to the controversy, saying, "Diversity of our cast and background performers was a requirement and only in a handful of instances when it was a matter of specialty skills, safety and control (special effects rigs, stunt performers and handling of animals) were crew made up to blend in."[55][56]

References

  1. Griffin, Louise (November 17, 2018). "Will Smith is 'terrified' to follow Robin Williams' performance as Genie in Aladdin". Metro. Retrieved November 24, 2018.
  2. Sinha-Roy, Piya (December 19, 2018). "See exclusive first-look photos from Disney's live-action Aladdin". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  3. 1 2 Sinha-Roy, Piya (December 21, 2018). "Exclusive: Guy Ritchie on finding his blue Genie and crafting a new Aladdin". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 26, 2018.
  4. Lee, Ashley (November 8, 2017). "Next Gen: 'Aladdin' Star Naomi Scott Says Jasmine is "a Multidimensional Woman"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 16, 2017.
  5. McHenry, Jackson (September 21, 2018). "Maniac's Billy Magnussen on Playing a 'Colorful Douchebag'". Vulture. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  6. 1 2 Simpson, George (October 12, 2018). "Aladdin TRAILER: Did you spot the returning ORIGINAL film star?". Express. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  7. 1 2 Schedeen, Jesse (October 12, 2018). "ALADDIN: HOW THE NEW TEASER TRAILER RECREATES THE ANIMATED DISNEY MOVIE". IGN. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  8. Fleming Jr., Mike (October 10, 2016). "Guy Ritchie To Direct Live Action 'Aladdin' For Disney". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  9. Kit, Borys (October 10, 2016). "Disney's Live-Action 'Aladdin' Enlists Guy Ritchie to Direct". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  10. Chitwood, Adam (February 8, 2017). "Disney's Live-Action 'Aladdin' Won't Be 'Prince of Persia', Says Producer; Promises Diverse Cast". Collider. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  11. Galuppo, Mia (March 9, 2017). "Disney's Live-Action 'Aladdin' Holds Open Casting Call for Leads". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  12. "Will Smith May Play The Genie In 'Aladdin'".
  13. Jr, Mike Fleming; Busch, Anita (April 19, 2017). "Will Smith In Talks For Genie Role In Disney's Live-Action 'Aladdin'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 20, 2017.
  14. 1 2 Ford, Rebecca; Galuppo, Mia (July 11, 2017). "'Aladdin': Disney Struggles to Find Stars for Its Live-Action Movie". The Hollywood Reported. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
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  19. Sneider, Jeff (July 17, 2017). ""Game of Thrones" Scribe Vanessa Taylor to Rewrite Guy Ritchie's "Aladdin" for Disney (Exclusive)". The Tracking Board. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
  20. Kroll, Justin (August 4, 2017). "Disney's Live-Action 'Aladdin' Reboot Casts 'Mummy' Actor as Jafar". Variety. Retrieved August 4, 2017.
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  26. The Aladdin Remake May Have Jasmine's Tiger After All Cinema Blend, November 9, 2017
  27. EXCLUSIVE: IAGO TO APPEAR IN THE LIVE-ACTION ALADDIN REMAKE! Disney Film Facts, January 17, 2018
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  33. "Will Smith". www.facebook.com. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
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  37. "New 'Aladdin' Movie Will Feature Songs from 'Greatest Showman' Songwriting Duo Pasek & Paul".
  38. 1 2 3 Chase, Stephanie (August 15, 2018). "Disney's live-action Aladdin songwriters reveal new songs and soundtrack details". Digital Spy. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
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  48. https://globalnews.ca/news/4948334/will-smiths-genie-aladdin/
  49. https://consequenceofsound.net/2019/02/aladdin-genie-memes/
  50. Flint, Hanna (September 7, 2017). "Aladdin: putting a white character in Disney's live-action remake is offensive" via Metro UK.
  51. Izadi, Elahe (September 7, 2017). "Disney just added a new character to 'Aladdin', and not everyone is pleased". The Washington Post.
  52. "Disney criticized over casting white actor in live-action 'Aladdin'". September 6, 2017.
  53. "Was Disney Wrong To Cast Naomi Scott As Jasmine In The New 'Aladdin' Film? Here's Why People Are Angry". July 17, 2017.
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  55. "Aladdin: Disney defends 'making up' white actors to 'blend in' during crowd scenes". BBC News. January 7, 2018. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  56. "Disney accused of 'browning up' white actors for various Asian roles in Aladdin". The Independent. January 7, 2018. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
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