Producer Talks Disney’s Live-Action “Aladdin” Aims

The roster of Disney’s live-action adaptations of its animated hits will only keep growing in the coming years. Yes there are still plenty of interest in some of the classic properties from the previous century, but as anticipation for “Beauty and the Beast” has demonstrated – live-action takes on their 90s masterpieces are bound to get many excited.

“The Lion King” and “The Little Mermaid” films are on the way, and one that has gotten many excited, but has been spoken about very little, is Guy Ritchie’s live-action take on “Aladdin”. Dan Lin serves as producer on both it and this week’s “The LEGO Batman Movie”, and while doing press for the latter he discussed the former with Collider. One thing he says that Disney has no intention of doing is whitewashing:

“Look at me. (Laughs) I mean I’m not a typical guy. Listen I’m very fortunate working in Hollywood; I am diverse. So when I came in to make the movie, I wanted to make a diverse version of the movie. Luckily for me Guy Ritchie has the same vision and Disney has the same vision, so we’re not here to make Prince of Persia. We want to make a movie that’s authentic to that world.”

Lin hints that newcomers are being sought for the major roles of Aladdin and Jasmine, and the musical elements of the original film will remain intact: “We’re gonna be discovering new people because it’s a real challenge, because not only does an actor have to act, but they really have to have singing chops.”

“Aladdin” had songs written by Alan Menken, Tim Rice, and the late Howard Ashman. Both Menken and Rice have returned to pen new songs for the live-action “Beauty and the Beast,” so they may be involved in “Aladdin” as well. One thing Lin is aware of is the pressure they’re all under to deliver a good film:

“Disney’s done an amazing job from Cinderella to now Beauty and the Beast – I saw it last week, the movie’s excellent. So they’ve really raised the bar for these musicals and these animation-to-live-action adaptations, that we have to then raise the bar on Aladdin.

I actually think The LEGO Batman Movie’s helped me, because on the first LEGO Movie the bar was so high, and I actually think LEGO Batman’s exceeded that bar. It’s the same challenge with Aladdin – Disney’s done such a good job between Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and then Aladdin will hopefully be the next one up.”

The new “Aladdin” doesn’t yet have an official release date.