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Arriving 27 years after the animated original, the live action remake of Aladdin may not quite have been the critical hit as its predecessor, but it was definitely a commercial success, making over $1 billion worldwide. Now, following in the footsteps of fellow Disney live action adaptations Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent, it looks like the Mouse House is looking into keeping the Aladdin train going with a sequel.
When asked if the folks at Disney were having conversations about making Aladdin 2 and where the franchise could go next, producer Dan Lin responded:
We have now. We certainly when we first made the movie wanted to just make the best movie we could and let audiences tell us if they wanted to see more. And I would say resoundingly audiences want to see more. They've watched this movie multiple times. We have lots of fan letters about people who really go back and they bring their friends and bring their family. And so we feel like there's more story to tell. We are going to treat it the same way we treat the original Aladdin movie and not going to do a shot by shot remake of anything that's been done before. We're really looking at what's been done before in the past and the home video, and there's just more story to tell with the underlying materials. So without giving away too much, we are certainly exploring where we can go with this franchise.
To be clear, Aladdin 2 isn’t officially in development just yet, and there’s a chance that the Disney brass may later decide to keep Aladdin as a one-and-done tale, like the live action versions of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast before it. But, per Dan Lin’s comments, evidently they’ve received a lot of feedback from Aladdin fans who want this live action take on the mythology to continue.
Should an Aladdin sequel or two get the green light, Dan Lin and his team certainly won’t be lacking for stories to adapt. Aladdin, Jasmine and Genie’s adventures continued in the direct-to-video realm with 1994’s The Return of Jafar and 1996’s Aladdin and the King of Thieves. There was also a TV series that aired from 1994 to 1995 that these sequels could potentially pull from.
However, as Dan Lin also mentioned during his interview with Comicbook.com, if Aladdin 2 does end up being based on one of these direct-to-video sequels, it wouldn’t unfold exactly like those previous stories. Like Aladdin, while the main narrative beats would be hit, the creative minds would elements to adjust and change accordingly to make the sequel feel fresher and more unique.
Warning: SPOILERS for Aladdin are ahead!
One thing I’m particularly curious about with Aladdin 2 is how Will Smith’s Genie would factor into the story. In the remake, when Aladdin freed Genie from the lamp, he became fully human, in contrast to the animated Genie who still kept his powers. Smith’s Genie is now traveling the world with his wife, Nasim Pedrad’s Dalia, and their two children, so if he’s drawn into the sequel’s events, will he remain human or somehow be transformed back into a genie?
What will be easy enough to include is Jafar’s return. Like his animated predecessor, Marwan Kenzari’s version of the character also wished to become a genie, but because he lacked a master, he was trapped inside his own lamp, and dragged Iago in there with him. Genie then tossed Jafar’s lamp into the Cave of Wonders, but it’d be easy enough to conjure a scenario where the former Grand Vizier of Agrabah comes back into play.
Aladdin has wrapped up its time in theaters, but you can watch it in the comfort of your own home media starting with the digital release on August 27 and the Blu-ray/DVD release on September 10. It will also be available on Disney+ within the first year of the service’s launch.
Don’t forget to also check out our comprehensive guide about what other live action Disney remakes/adaptations are on the way.