Ride-or-die Disney fans, rejoice! You're about to get your wish granted with the upcoming live-action version of Aladdin that promises an Avatar-level of blue Will Smith as the iconic Genie. If you tuned in to commercial breaks during the Grammys, you may have caught the special sneak peek trailer of the movie. Soon, we'll be able to join Aladdin and Jasmine for a magic (and maybe a little CGI-driven) carpet ride.
The Aladdin reboot is set to come out on May 24. It'll join a legacy of beloved classics that have received a live-action revamp, including Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and Mary Poppins Returns. Most Disney remakes have met with moderate success and critical acclaim, so we don't anticipate this upcoming project to be a total flop despite the sometimes-brow-raising promo material so far.
We know, we know — it keeps happening. But it was all but inevitable that the Disney classic would get a reboot treatment. After all, the original animated version of Aladdin came out almost three decades ago on Nov. 25, 1992. It's been a seminal classic for Disney fans all over the world, bringing us earworms such as "Friend Like Me" and "A Whole New World."
Plans for a remake have been around since October 2016, when Disney announced that Sherlock Holmes director Guy Ritchie would be helming a live-action Aladdin. Casting commenced in 2017, and the search for the right Aladdin would prove to be a tall order. Disney finally sealed the deal with Canadian actor Mena Massoud to portray to the titular street urchin. Once Disney found the perfect Aladdin, filming began for this "ambitious and nontraditional take" on the classic. The script, cowritten by John August, promises a nonlinear style, departing from the straightforward narrative of the original. No worries — we're still going to get all of our favourite childhood tunes. (And as a bonus, there's even a whole new Aladdin and Jasmine duet!)
With its May release date and Disney prestige, Aladdin will almost certainly be a smash Summer blockbuster. It comes out the same weekend as Brightburn, Ad Astra, and Booksmart. While these adjacent projects have big names attached to them, it doesn't look like they'll be aiming for the same family-friendly crowds as Aladdin. The first two are sci-fi thrillers, whereas the Olivia Wilde-directed Booksmart appears to be a high school comedy romp.
In fact, it looks like Aladdin's strongest competition may be the other Disney live-action remakes of Dumbo and The Lion King, which, respectively, come out on March 29 and July 19. In addition to those, there are also 10 other upcoming Disney flicks that'll probably compete with the family-friendly fantasy musical this year.
While we wait for Aladdin's release, let's all take one jump ahead to appreciate the dazzling set photos so far. And maybe even indulge ourselves in a little Disney fan theorizing? It'll certainly be a minute before we can set our sights on a blue Will Smith or hot Jafar.