Disney's live-action Aladdin is getting a pair of new songs from the Oscar-winning duo behind the music of La La Land. Songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who won an Oscar for La La Land's City of Stars and were nominated for another Oscar this year for their song This is Me from The Greatest Showman, have revealed they worked with composer Alan Menken on two new songs for the new Aladdin movie, which arrives in theaters next summer.
The pair were interviewed while on the red carpet, heading to the Academy Awards ceremony and were asked about their next project. They revealed that they've finished collaborating on the new songs for Aladdin and they sound incredibly excited about it. Here's what Benj Pasek had to say about it.
"We got to collaborate with one of our heroes, Alan Menken, and we collaborated with him and wrote the lyrics for two new songs for Aladdin that's coming out next year. Just getting to be in the studio with him and suck him dry for all of the stories he would tell us and pick his brain about it...We probably delayed work for several weeks just trying to be like, 'Tell us about Ariel! Tell us about Ursula!' We freaked out. We're really excited for that. Really thrilled to be a part of the Disney family."
Justin Paul and Benj Pasek couldn't reveal anything specific about these new Aladdin songs, but Disney has been dropping new songs into these recent live-action remakes. Beauty and the Beast included new music, and the upcoming Lion King live-action remake will include new music from Elton John. Even though it sounds like Be Prepared didn't make the cut for some reason. Do these new tunes mean that some classic songs from the 1992 animated version of Aladdin will hit the cutting room floor? Fans will probably be upset if something classic like A Whole New World doesn't show up.
There are a lot of hurdles Disney has to overcome in order to make this new take on Aladdin work. Not the least of which is getting audiences to accept someone other than the late Robin Williams as Genie. The man tasked with taking up that mantle is Will Smith, who certainly has his work cut out for him. Also starring in the remake is Naomi Scott as Jasmine, Mena Massoud as the titular hero and Marwan Kenzari as the villain Jafar. Disney has managed to mostly avoid whitewashing the cast, but they did catch some flack for bringing in Billy Magnussen as a white character named Prince Anders.
Aladdin is set for release on May 24, 2019, and is directed by Guy Ritchie. The Mouse House has had a lot of luck with these live-action remakes of animated classics lately. If they can pull this off, this could be one of the biggest movies hitting theaters next summer. You can check out the clip of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, courtesy of the Variety Twitter account, for yourself below.