Hold onto your magic carpets — ‘Aladdin’ is getting a sequel.
Last year’s live-action remake of the 1992 Disney animation — helmed by Guy Ritchie and starring Mena Massoud as Aladdin and Naomi Scott as Jasmine — crossed $1 billion (Dh3.67 billion) at the global box office.
Now, director Ritchie and both his lead actors — as well as Will Smith as Genie — are returning to the colourful world of Agrabah to continue the beloved tale of love, friendship and mischief.
Speaking to Gulf News tabloid in Jordan, where ‘Aladdin’ partially filmed, Ritchie earlier commented: “This film was influenced by the greater region. Although our Agrabah is a sort of multicultural Fantasia, if you will, there felt as though there were certain rules to that world that needed to be sympathetic to the culture and ethics of the Middle East.”
“I would consider a part two,” he added. “Having just completed part one, I haven’t got my noodle anywhere near thinking about thinking about that one just yet.”
It seems like he’s had plenty of time to consider it since.
Disney has brought on scribes John Gatins (‘Flight’, ‘Real Steel’) and Andrea Berloff (‘Straight Outta Compton’, ‘The Kitchen’) to pen the new adventure.
The studio held a writers room in the summer to brainstorm ideas for the follow-up film.
According to the announcement, producers looked to other stories from ‘One Thousand and One Nights’, which is home to the Arabic folktale that inspired the ‘Aladdin’ films in the first place. The collection of Middle Eastern stories is home to ‘Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves’ and ‘Sinbad the Sailor’.
The 1992 ‘Aladdin’ was one of the highest-grossing animation films of all time, followed by two less successful and direct-to-video sequels: ‘The Return of Jafar’ (1994) and ‘Aladdin and the King of Thieves’ (1996).