Disney Developing ‘Aladdin’ Live-Action Prequel ‘Genies’ | Film News
Disney are really pushing these live action re-tellings of their classic animated features. According to the Hollywood Reporter, a live action version of Aladdin is on the cards, beginning with a prequel story showcasing the Genie underworld and origins of the lamp. Genies will test the waters and its success will determine whether Aladdin will go ahead.
Sleeping Beauty (1959) was the first to receive this treatment with Disney drawing on the star power of Angelina Jolie to sell Maleficent (2014), the story re-told from the perspective of the most enigmatic and scary of Disney witches. The dark fantasy movie sold the concept with success, leading to a more traditional Cinderella movie (2015) starring Cate Blanchet and Lily James, and directed by Kenneth Branagh.
Filming for Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens is underway with an expected release in 2017. There are also several other projects planned including a Prince Charming feature and the Night On Bald Mountain sequence from Fantasia (1940).
Genies is a comedy currently being written by Damian Shannon and Mark Swift and will be produced by Tripp Vinson. The beloved blue Genie voiced by the late Robin Williams was debuted in the 1992 animated movie Aladdin, Disney’s adaption of an ancient Arabic fairy tale about a street urchin that finds a magic lamp containing a genie that has the power to grant him three wishes.
The new film will tell the Genie’s story of how he wound up enslaved within that fateful lamp, and will give us a whole narrative about genies and their world. The best thing about news of these planned live action re-tellings, is fantasy casting the characters. Who could possibly bring the genie to life when Williams recent death brings such poignancy to his already endeared turn as the mad cap mythical man? Will Shannon and Swift take a different tact with this character?
Starting with a prequel in this way will certainly encourage audiences to be more accepting of a different sort of Genie, a more fleshed out character with pre-explored history, priming us for the Aladdin feature that may follow. Who do you think could play Genie or Aladdin, Princess Jasmine and our other favorites from the 1992 animation? Tell us in the comments below.