After facing a ton of backlash from some lackluster CGI in the trailers, Aladdin turned out to be an all right time in the theaters. It wasn’t perfect, by any means, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy some of the stuff director Guy Ritchie brought to the live-action interpretation of the Disney classic. Will Smith worked surprisingly well as the Genie, and the rest of the cast also held their own in the roles made popular by animated characters decades ago.
But with the live-action film doing so well, many Aladdin fans wondered whether or not a sequel would eventually happen. After all, Disney did create two animated sequels to the original, in addition to a television show. As such, there is plenty of “canon” material for them to utilize. Well, after spending a solid six months figuring out where to go next, producers have reportedly settled on their next story, Variety reports.
Onboard to execute this story in written form are John Gatins and Andrea Berloff. The producers are hoping to see the return of the main cast that features Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, and Will Smith, but offers will not be extended to them until the screenplay is ready to go. We don’t know if Guy Ritchie will be back to direct. Also worth noting is that this film will NOT be a Disney+ title — so don’t expect the same direct-to-VHS-style release that the animated sequels had.
And speaking of those animated sequels, it can’t be ignored that the next film in the franchise was called The Return of Jafar. As we saw at the end of the original animated Aladdin, Genie only sent Jafar back to the Cave of Wonders. When another greedy man stumbles upon his lamp, Jafar enacts a revenge scheme. While the movie itself isn’t great (or good even), it wouldn’t be the worst hook to hang a sequel hat on.
That being said, considering how long it took the producers to settle on a direction for the story, I’d be surprised if they looked to those animated sequels for any inspiration. Even if the movie chronicles Jafar’s return, I imagine they’d go in a wildly different direction.
Perhaps most interesting will be the need to develop new songs for the sequel. Again, I doubt they’ll have any of the songs from The Return of Jafar, so if we could get a new set of original Alan Menken songs out of this, that’d be one hell of a way to go. In my opinion, the best parts of the new Aladdin film were when it actually forged its own path, so an all-new experience could be great fun.
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