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Disney's live-action remake of Aladdin is set to follow in the footsteps of the Beauty and the Beast remake and be a full musical like its animated counterpart. However, we won't only get the songs we know. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the songwriters of the recent musical hit The Greatest Showman, recently revealed that they helped write a pair of new songs that will be included in the film when it arrives next year. According to Pasek...
We're really thrilled that we got to collaborate with one of our heroes, Alan Menken. We collaborated with him and wrote the lyrics for two new songs for Aladdin that's coming out next year. Yeah, just being in the studio with him and getting to suck him dry for all the stories he would tell us and pick his brain about.
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul didn't elaborate with Variety on the new songs because the pair were mostly just super excited about the fact that they got to work with the great Alan Menken. Menken wrote the music for most of the Disney animated movies that came out during the Disney Renaissance of the late 80s and 90s including writing all the songs of the original Aladdin with Howard Ashman and Time Rice.
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul have become something of the Howard Ashman of the current day, as the pair have been involved in writing some of the songs for the two biggest movie musicals in recent years, La La Land and The Greatest Showman. It makes all the sense in the world that if you want new music for your musical, you call these two.
The previous Disney live-action remake to go full musical, Beauty and the Beast, also included a pair of brand new songs. Alan Menken wrote those with frequent collaborator Tim Rice, but this time it looks like Disney is bringing in some new blood. There's plenty of space in the story for new songs, even without making significant changes to the story. There's only one song that follows "A Whole New World" in the animated movie, and it's a reprise of an earlier song, so perhaps Jafar will get a full villain song at some point in the new movie. If there's anything that Aladdin is really missing from a musical standpoint, it's probably that. We could also potentially see a song for one of the movie's new characters. We know that Jafar will have a right-hand man named Hakim, and Jasmine will have a handmaiden/best friend named Mara. Depending on the importance of the roles, we could see songs from one or both of them. The changes to the story that new characters bring could be the reason for new songs.
Of course, there's also the possibility that one of the new songs is replacing one of the old ones. Of course, if that happens, somebody is going to lose their favorite song. We'll find out what the movie sounds like in May of 2019.