We’re not surprised to hear that Disney has been planning a live-action retelling of their 1992 animated classic Aladdin–they were previously planning a live-action prequel focusing on the franchise’s popular Genie character, after all–but we were not expecting Guy Ritchie to be the emerging directorial candidate for the job. It looks like everyone’s favorite street-rat will be getting an action-packed treatment in the signature styling of the Sherlock Holmes and Man from U.N.C.L.E. director.
THR reports that Ritchie is in talks with the studio to head up Aladdin, a live-action retelling that’s scripted by John August (Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Dark Shadows). The aim is to make “an ambitious and non-traditional take on Aladdin” so having Ritchie at the helm is certainly one way to do that. The studio also intends to make a non-linear narrative, which is part and parcel of Ritchie’s style. Will we get a love story wrapped up in a crime thriller with magical elements? I can already see the title character recounting his fateful heist of a magic lamp to a group of potential buyers (or burly palace guards) in the bazaar using flashback scenes.
What’s also unclear at this point is how the studio will handle the Genie character, which still carries the memory of Robin Williams’ defining performance. Don’t expect his version of the Genie to be used in any future films however, despite the late actors’ recorded but unused material for the character; a stipulation in his will prevents any exploitation of that material. We may, however, get to experience the return of some of the original film’s music as August’s script is said to incorporate some familiar musical elements. (But what about Abu?!)
Dan Lin is set to produce the picture through his Lin Pictures banner; he reteams with Ritchie after producing the director’s Sherlock Holmes pictures through Warner Bros. If you’re unfamiliar with the original tale, check out the trailer for the classic romantic adventure movie below: