It was two years ago when Disney first announced it was planning on a live-action remake of 1992's Aladdin. The process of getting the project off the ground was a long one, with the cast list unconfirmed until almost a year later. In September of 2017, production finally got underway, but after that, radio silence, even with the 25 anniversary of the original film occurring last November. Finally this week, promotion of the 2019 release is kicking into high gear, with the live-action Aladdin trailer arriving at halftime during Thursday Night Football.
This isn't the first time Disney has partnered up with the NFL to do a big-time trailer release. Disney-owned Lucasfilm premiered the final trailers for both Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi during halftime for Monday Night Football, which airs on the Disney-owned ESPN network.
This isn't quite a synergistic, as Thursday Night Football airs on FOX, but the game is a pretty big one, between the defending Super Bowl champions the Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants. It's still a giant splash for the second of three Disney live-action films which will arrive next year in theaters.
Check it out:
Unlike the original, this Aladdin assumes you know the story and they do not need to explain anything. They also know this time the Genie is the big selling point, something the marketing team in 1992 couldn't have known. So unlike the 1992 trailer they simply tease the Genie's arrival, without showing Will Smith.
The good news is, unlike Beauty and The Beast, which did shot for shot trailer remakes to go with their shot for shot remake, this Aladdin trailer is nothing like the original, giving fans hope this will not be a shot-for-shot remake either.
For comparison's sake, here's the original trailer for the 1992 release:
Aladdin stars Will Smith as the Genie, a role first created by the legendary comedian Robin Williams. Newcomer Mena Massoud, an Egyptian-born Canadian actor, will play the titular Aladdin, while Naomi Scott plays his love interest Princess Jasmine, and Marwan Kenzari plays the evil Jafar.
The film is directed by Guy Richie, who is known for rather violent movies. But Richie also has five kids, so it's not like he hasn't seen a PG-13 movie or two. The film is expected to be family friendly. The synopsis suggests the story will not be changing much either:
When street rat Aladdin frees a genie from a lamp, he finds his wishes granted. However, he soon finds that the evil has other plans for the lamp -- and for Princess Jasmine. But can Aladdin save Princess Jasmine and his love for her after she sees that he isn't quite what he appears to be?
That being said, both Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast had a synopsis that matched their original cartoon versions. Beauty and the Beast was slavishly devoted to recreating the original, while Cinderella added new material left and right. At the time, it was reported Robin Williams improvised much of his role as the Genie, should we maybe expect Smith to follow suit?
Disney's live-action Aladdin arrives in theaters on Memorial Day weekend, May 24, 2019.