Grab Your Magic Carpet, A Live-Action 'Aladdin' Sequel Is Officially In The Works

by Ani Bundel

Disney first landed upon the idea of the live-action remake in 2010, with the Tim Burton take on Alice In Wonderland. Since then, the company has gone on to create hits out of shot-for-shot recreations like Beauty & The Beast and The Lion King. The more offbeat reimaginings of their cartoon, like Alice In Wonderland and Maleficent, went on to get sequels. Now Disney has greenlit a live-action Aladdin sequel, making it the first of these live-action films who recreate scenes shot-for-shot to get a follow-up.

To be fair, 2019's live-action Aladdin doesn't fully recreate the 1992 cartoon from end to end. The new film added a framing device making it a story told by the Genie years later. It also didn't always stay faithful to the Genie's original portrayal. In some places, the film chose to hew close, such as the numbers made iconic by the late Robin Williams, such as "Friend Like Me" and "Prince Ali." But in others, the film took advantage of Will Smith playing the role and let the new actor do what he does best.

In truth, the film was better when it let Smith and the new band of actors do their own thing, instead of forcing them to recreate the work of others. So it's heartening to hear Disney is going to take another crack at the world of Aladdin, with a wholly new sequel.

The new Aladdin was not well-received by critics when it arrived back in May of 2019, ultimately landing with a 57% splat on Rotten Tomatoes. But even though it opened somewhat soft, with a $91 million first weekend, the film was a sleeper hit, coming in with $355 million by the time the movie's run ended in October.

That was enough for the studio to let producers Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich take a crack at a sequel. According to Variety:

Sources say the movie is in early development, but after spending the last six months figuring out what direction to take the next film, producers look to have found their path... It’s unknown at this time whether director Guy Ritchie will return. Producers hope to bring back stars Will Smith, Mena Massoud, and Naomi Scott, but offers won’t be extended to the cast until a script is ready.

Variety goes on to note that the sequel is planned as a full theatrical release, not a Disney+ title. No release window has been announced as of yet.