Disney can’t stop, won’t stop with live-action reboots, but this one sounds genuinely interesting. The studio is moving forward on plans for a live-action Aladdin prequel, Genie, which will tell the story of Aladdin’s faithful genie before he befriended the ambitious street urchin. THR reports that horror veterans Damian Shannon and Mark Swift (Freddy Vs. Jason) will write the script, with Tripp Vinson (San Andreas) set to produce.
Robin Williams iconically voiced the beloved character in Disney’s 1992 adaptation of the Arabic folk tale about a street beggar who finds an invaluable lamp that unleashes a magical genie who grants him three wishes. Given Williams’ huge impact on any child of the 80s/90s, and the collective grief we all shared in his untimely death, any actor who accepts the role will have to fill essentially the biggest shoes ever.
While we’re headed towards a glut of live-action fairytales, including The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, Tinker Bell, Dumbo, Winnie the Pooh, and no joke, Fantasia‘s Night on Bald Mountain, as well as sequels to existing live-action adaptations Maleficent and Alice in Wonderland, Genie is one of the more intriguing projects for a number of reasons.
First, this isn’t just a straight adaptation, there’s room to create an original story here within the infrastructure of the IP. Second, the fact that they picked Shannon and Swift, who previously brought us Freddy Vs. Jason and the Friday the 13th remake (both fun and underrated), is just straight up weird, and weird piques my interest. And while this might sound weird, those two takes on Jason Voorhees demonstrate that Shannon and Swift are pretty good at fulfilling the tone asked of them. For two movies centered on the same character, FvJ and F13 are completely different films, each script tailored to the tonal needs of the film. Finally, who hasn’t wondered how the Genie got trapped in the bottle? It’s a story rife with promise, they just have to live up to the charm and personality Williams brought to the character – not like that’s a high bar or anything.