Aladdin Live-Action Prequel Movie Happening at Disney
Disney is digging deep into its well of animated movies, putting a live action prequel to the 1992 blockbuster Aladdin into development, entitled Genies. The studio has brought on screenwriters Damian Shannon and Mark Swift (Friday the 13th) to write the screenplay for the project, described as a "live-action comedy adventure" by The Hollywood Reporter. Disney is already planning to have this project, still in early development, spawn a live action remake of Aladdin itself.
The original Aladdin movie is based on a centuries-old Arabic folk tale about a lowly street kid who finds a magical lamp with a genie (Robin Williams), who grants him three wishes, while the nefarious Jafar tries to obtain this lamp to gain power over the land. The prequel Genies is said to focus on the realm of these magical entities, and how Aladdin's particular genie becomes enslaved in this lamp. Aladdin took in an impressive $217 million domestic and $504 million worldwide at the box office during its theatrical run in 1992, with a voice cast that also included Scott Weinger, Linda Larkin, Jonathan Freeman, Frank Welker and Gilbert Gottfried.
Tripp Vinson is on board to produce through his Vinson Films banner. The producer is coming off the summer hit San Andreas, which reunited him with his Journey 2: The Mysterious Island star Dwayne Johnson. He is also producing two more Disney projects, Bob: The Musical for director Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist), and another live action remake, Prince Charming.
Damian Shannon and Mark Swift are best known for their work in the horror genre, writing Freddy vs. Jason and the 2009 Friday the 13th. They also wrote the latest Friday the 13th remake for Platinum Dunes, which has a May 13, 2016 release date already set. They have most recently delved outside of the horror world by writing a pair of Paramount projects, the Baywatch remake and the comedy O'Lucky Day, which has Peter Dinklage set to star.
Genies is the latest in a growing number of live action projects Disney is developing, in the wake of blockbuster hits like Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent and this year's Cinderella. Other projects in the works are The Jungle Book (April 15, 2016), Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass (May 27, 2016) and Beauty and the Beast (March 17, 2017). The studio also has remakes of Dumbo, Winnie the Pooh, Mulan, Pinocchio and Tink.