Guy Ritchie Says It Would Be “Tough Not To Make Aladdin A Musical”

It’s probably safe to say that Disney’s push into live-action remakes has now gained a vast amount of additional momentum, with the news that this year’s Beauty And The Beast has become the highest-grossing PG film. That, combined with the fact that director Guy Ritchie is currently on the promotional trail for his latest film, King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword, means that many questions are being asked about his upcoming remake of Aladdin – most notably, whether it will be musical in nature.

To his credit, Ritchie isn’t shying away from the subject of his next big budget adventure. Rather, he provides a very clear, non-sensationalized update on where he is in the process of creating this new version of an old fan favourite.

“It’d be tough not make Aladdin a musical… I’ve really just immersed myself into that project. So I’m still looking for cast members, we still haven’t found exactly which direction we’re going in. I’m confident that at some stage it will reveal itself to me, but right now it’s just a bit too premature.”

The screenplay for this update to Aladdin reportedly comes from John August, who has quite an eclectic writing resume – ranging from Go and the Charlie’s Angels films, to regularly collaborating with Tim Burton on projects such as Big Fish, Corpse Bride, Frankenweenie and Dark Shadows. The prospect of a union between the writing style of John August, and the very distinctive directing style of Guy Ritchie therefore makes Aladdin a very intriguing prospect indeed – before we even consider the idea of the film being a musical.

But, the single reported cast member so far is Will Smith in the role of the genie – and this is something that will reassure fans of the original, while neither confirming nor denying a musical direction. Smith is well-skilled at improvisation and verbal sparring, while also being an accomplished musical artist in his own right.

Now that Guy Ritchie has confirmed that a musical option is indeed still a firm possibility, the key indication might well be the next casting announcements, as he seeks to fill the roles of Aladdin and the female lead, Jasmine. The Oscar-winning love song between those two characters was a centerpiece for 1992’s Aladdin, and was co-written by Beauty And The Beast’s Alan Menken. While music has always played a significant role in the work of this particular director, we’ll have to wait and see whether the stars align to deliver the world’s first, honest-to-goodness Guy Ritchie musical.