Ever since Disney announced plans for a live-action Aladdin movie with Will Smith playing the genie, people have been wondering how the shape-shifting character with cosmic powers will appear in the film.
The first trailer for Aladdin finally has an answer — and it’s very, very blue.
Directed by Sherlock Holmes and Snatch filmmaker Guy Ritchie from a screenplay penned by John August (Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Aladdin is based on Disney’s 1992 animated feature of the same name, which was itself inspired by the famous collection of Middle Eastern folktales known as One Thousand and One Nights.
Aladdin casts Jack Ryan actor Mena Massoud as Aladdin, a street-smart thief in the Arabian city of Agrabah who falls in love with Princess Jasmine (Power Rangers actress Naomi Scott), the beautiful daughter of the Sultan (Homeland actor Navid Negahban). Scheming to take over the city for himself is the villainous sorcerer Jafar, played by Murder on the Orient Express actor Marwan Kenzari, whose attempt to gain control of a magical, wish-granting genie (Smith) backfires and puts the genie’s lamp in Aladdin’s hands.
The supporting cast includes Nasim Pedrad (Saturday Night Live) as Jasmine’s friend, Dalia; Billy Magnussen (Into the Woods) as the suitor Prince Anders; and Numan Acar (Homeland) as Hakim, the head of the palace guards.
Nominated for five Academy Awards and the winner of two, the animated Aladdin famously featured Robin Williams as the voice of the genie, and was one of many animated features from Disney to earn critical acclaim for the studio in the ’90s. The live-action film will include new recordings of many of the songs that were the hallmark of its animated predecessor, with eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid) composing the score. It will also feature two new songs written by Menken and songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, winners of Academy Awards and Tony Awards for La La Land and Dear Evan Hansen, respectively.
Aladdin is the latest live-action remake of a classic Disney animated feature, following the success of 2017’s Beauty and the Beast and 2016’s The Jungle Book, among others. It is scheduled to hit theaters May 24.