In the immortal ranty words of Bill O’Reilly: “F$%@ it! We’ll do it live!”. This appears to be the mantra that Disney has been living by for the last few years, as they’ve producing and planning live-action feature film versions of several of their most famous animated classics. We’ve already seen Alice In Wonderland, Maleficent and Cinderella – the latter two both being extremely successful – and there are still live-action versions of The Jungle Book, Pinocchio, Beauty and the Beast, Dumbo, Mulan and Winnie the Pooh all still in the pipeline. And now you can add two more titles to that list.
THR is reporting that Disney have tapped the screenwriting duo of Damian Shannon and Mark Swift to pen Genies, a new live-action feature film prequel to their 1992 animated smash hit Aladdin. The plan is reportedly to use Genies to set up an actual live-action adaptation of Aladdin itself in the long-term.
The original $504 million grossing film was a reworking of the centuries-old story found in the famous “Arabian Nights” tome, and followed the titular street urchin who becomes a wealthy prince when he discovers a magic lamp with a genie inside, voiced magnificently on-screen by the late Robin Williams. This prequel will be focusing on the “realm of the Genies”, and specifically telling the story of how the famous fast-talking, shape-shifting blue Genie actually ended up enslaved to Aladdin’s lamp in the first place.
If they stick to the same charming tone as the original, and depending on who they actually cast for this – good luck following in Robin Williams’ footsteps though – and which director they pick, this could actually be fairly entertaining. My biggest concern though are Shannon and Swift, who have mainly been known as the screenwriters/producers on the 2008 Friday the 13th remake and fellow horror flick Freddy vs Jason, both of which were pretty middling. They are apparently trying to segue into more lighthearted fare now though, and also have the Peter Dinklage comedy O’ Lucky Day lined up.
Last Updated: July 17, 2015