Disney has a certain clean-cut image that they are trying to maintain. With almost all their movies and big franchises, you will find most of their movies to be a light-hearted and fun. Disney prides themselves on their family-friendly image and approach to film-making which is what has made news of Guy Ritchie directing the live-action remake of Aladdin so interesting. Ritchie’s trademark visual portrayal of violence and flowery language doesn’t exactly fit Disney’s image. Disney believes they have the right man for the job though.
Not only is Disney apparently trying to make the film authentic by tying to cast middle-eastern or middle-eastern in appearance stars for the lead roles, but they also want to give Ritchie the opportunity to shine the only way he knows how – but in a family friendly way. With music. Disney Studio president Sean Bailey explained further to Vulture:
Guy became interested in doing a Disney movie and we talked a lot about it. When we talked about Aladdin, he said, ‘My stories are really about street hustlers. That’s what I know how to do. And Aladdin is a classic street hustler who makes good.’ Guy’s got his own version of that story in his life. But he wanted to honor and respect the Disney of it all. We never want to feel like we have a playbook to these things because we worry it’ll make us creatively complacent. The idea of a highly energized Guy Ritchie Disney musical felt like, Oh, we haven’t done that before.
I must agree that if there is one movie on the Disney roster that could work with the Guy Ritchie style, Aladdin is it. The fast pace street hustling scenes in particular could be quite a treat and I would love to see something very different and visually appealing done the guy Ritchie style. As for the musical sequences it is something I would probably pay good money just to see out of sheer curiosity.
Disney will definitely want to produce a fresh take on the story, but also make sure they don’t isolate fans and ensure they cater to certain expectation already set by its popular animation classic:
We’ll make sure we still spend a lot of time talking about the contract with the audience is on that particular title. We’re going to have to deliver certain things in Aladdin.
With Disney’s growing list of live-action adaptations, this could shape up to be the one to watch just to see how it different it pans out. I’m not a fan of all of Guy Ritchie’s movies, but I do love his directorial style and given that he has some strong material to work with here, I think we’ll be in for a visual feast.