Everybody was a little bit shocked when we heard the name Guy Ritchie attached to a live-action Disney remake. However, the director has now spoken out about why he decided to get involved in the project and honestly it makes a lot of sense. As a guest on a recent podcast, it was pointed out that making a live-action version of Disney's Aladdin isn't the sort of film we would expect him to make. He says it's a movie directly in his wheelhouse. According to Ritchie...
I have five kids. I know more about kids movies than I do about any other movies and in turn, I know more about Disney movies than any other brand of movies. So, it's a wheelhouse in which I'm well familiar. And I'm impressed with the quality of children's product.
At the end of the day, everybody who has kids knows Disney. Guy Ritchie has five kids, which means that even if the older ones have moved out of their Disney phase, he's been through it multiple times. He probably knows Robin Williams' Genie dialogue by heart. The director was a recent guest on the Variety Playback podcast where he explained that, while it's too early to really say where the live-action Aladdin movie is headed, he's really excited about making the movie.
Disney's live-action remakes have been huge business for the Mouse House with Beauty and the Beast breaking the billion dollar mark and The Jungle Book very nearly doing so. However, Guy Ritchie says that Disney isn't simply relying on these brands they have to rake in cash. Another reason he seems to really be happy to be working on this film is because the people at the studio are focused on creativity.
What I do find exciting is, it's a musical, They [Disney] are fantastic people to work with. Going 'round there is like, going into how I imagined, sort of, Google was five years ago. It's a load of very excited people that are very enthusiastic. And to me, it feels like product, in terms of creative expression, is primary. They're creative. The fact they're successful is secondary.
If there's an aspect of this project that seems even odder than Guy Ritchie doing Disney, it's Guy Ritchie doing a musical. However, that's what we're going to get as he confirms here again that the live-action remake of Aladdin will following the footsteps of Beauty and the Beast and be a full musical.
Recent rumors have indicated that Disney is looking at Will Smith to play the Genie in the film, while the open casting call for the roles of Aladdin and Jasmine means that we could see a pair of complete unknowns in those parts. Aladdin was not one of the films given a release date during Disney's most recent announcement so there's no telling how soon we'll actually see this on the screen, though Disney does have Untitled Disney fairy tale films slated for as early as the summer of 2018.