Disney seems to be committed to the idea of transforming all of their classic animated movies into new live-action ventures. Since the blockbuster success of Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella earlier this year, we've heard announcement after announcement - and now there's a new one to add to the pile. According to a new report, Aladdin is the next film that will be switching mediums... but the trick with this one is that it's actually going to be a prequel to the story we know and love, and actually be called Genie.
The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop on this new development, saying that Disney has screenwriters Damian Shannon and Mark Swift working on the script for the film. There is no director attached just yet, but Tripp Vinson, who recently played a part in the production on San Andreas, is serving as one of the new project's producers. At this time there aren't any plot details available, though the trade report does say that the idea is to have Genie set up what would become a specific live-action remake of Aladdin.
Fans will of course remember that it was Robin Williams who famously brought Genie to life in 1992's animated hit Aladdin - which is why something feels a bit off about this project. No actor could have brought the character to life quite like the Oscar-winning Williams did, and it was less than a year ago that it was announced that he had died. Needless to say, whatever actor steps into the role is going to have one hell of a performance to live up to.
Damian Shannon and Mark Swift are established writers in Hollywood, but Genie will end up being completely different from anything we've seen from them thus far. They're previous credits include the horror outings Freddy vs. Jason and the Friday the 13th remake - and more recently they have been working on the script for the Baywatch movie. Really, the closest they've come to this kind of material is their in-development script O'Lucky Day - which will feature Peter Dinklage as a guy who may or may not be a leprechaun - but that project will likely be geared more towards adults than children.
As alluded to earlier, Genie is the latest title to join the list of live-action movies tied to classic animated Disney films. The next one we'll see is Jon Favreau's The Jungle Book, which will be out in April of next year, but that will just be the start. Pinocchio, Beauty And The Beast, Mulan, Dumbo, and Tinkerbell are just some of the projects that have been revealed in the last few months. Now I'm just waiting for the announcement that they will all be set in the same cinematic universe.
Genie does not currently have a release date.