Disney has released a bunch of new photos from the live-action remake of Aladdin, revealing our first looks at the villainous Jafar and the beloved monkey sidekick, Abu. Much of the attention paid to these first look photos has been dedicated to Will Smith's Genie who, as the internet has been quick to point out, is not blue. But there is a lot more to look at here that clues us in as to what we're in for with this remake next summer.
Jafar, the Sultan's advisor who has his own evil ambitions and has his sights set on getting his hands on the magical lamp containing Will Smith's Genie, is being played by Marwan Kenzari. The image we see of him is, though different, relatively faithful to what has come before. Jafar is in black, red and gold robes, holding the lamp in question and looking nefarious as ever.
Evil as he may seem, this is still a kid's movie. That is evidenced by the adorable first look at Abu, a beloved character from the 1992 animated classic. Abu looks quite faithful to what fans would expect, but brought to life. He's seen in the first image looking rather surprised at what he's seeing in the Cave of Wonders. It's actually the idea of making a kid's movie that attracted director Guy Ritchie to the project. The man behind Snatch and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels isn't perhaps the first one who comes to mind for something such as this, but here's what Richie had to say about it.
"My skills and experience could add enough to make it feel fresh and worth it, but not so much so that it would wash away nostalgia... making a kids' film was very appealing to me."
These new photos also give us plenty of new looks at both the titular Aladdin and Princess Jasmine, played by Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott. But this version is going to introduce us to a new character as well in the form of Dalia, played by former Saturday Night Live cast member Nasim Pedrad. Dalia is seen standing with Jasmine in the photo and, as we learn, she's the princess' best friend, a character created specifically for this new take. Here's what Pedrad had to say about it.
"Jasmine is so resilient and independent in this version, she's focused on things other than which boy she's going to end up with. She really wants to be a leader, and Dalia really supports that but at the same time wants to make sure she doesn't get in trouble."
For those who may be concerned, Will Smith did confirm that Genie will be blue in the movie and that what we're seeing is his human disguise. So perhaps take that into account when looking through the images. Aladdin is set to arrive in theaters on May 22, 2019. Be sure to check out all of the new photos from Entertainment Weekly below.