The soundtrack of a Disney animated film is one of its most important aspects, though that’s something that the previous live-action remakes of these movies have approached differently. The Jungle Book and Cinderella decided to scale back on the singing and dancing, while Beauty and the Beast embraced the musical side of things, even adding in a few new songs.
Now, the upcoming revamp of Aladdin seems to be taking the Beast route. While talking to Variety, songwriters Benji Pasek and Justin Paul confirmed that they’ve penned two completely new songs for the reboot of the Arabian Nights-inspired tale, alongside original composer Alan Menken.
First off, Naomi Scott’s Princess Jasmine will get her own song this time. “We got to write a new song for Jasmine,” Paul said. “Alan wrote a beautiful piece of music and [Scott] is incredible.” What’s more, Mena Massoud’s Aladdin and Scott’s Jasmine will also be given another duet to sing in the movie. “It’s a sweet song,” Paul promised. Though fans of the original will be hoping it won’t replace the iconic number “A Whole New World.”
Finally, at least one other song will be spruced up a little for the remake. The songwriters told Variety that the opening track, “Arabian Nights,” will come with a new verse this time. This is definitely a good idea on Disney’s part, as the version of the song in the cartoon has been heavily criticized in the past for its demonizing of Middle Eastern culture.
Other changes that director Guy Ritchie and his team are making to the story of the 1992 movie include swapping out Jasmine’s pet tiger Raja for a female friend in the form of Nasim Pedrad’s Dalia. The Genie’s likely to be a totally revamped character as well, as Will Smith’s comedic stylings are bound to be different than Robin Williams’ beloved portrayal.