Nothing’s going to stop Disney from plumbing the depths of its extensive animated library for every possible live-action reimagining, reboot, prequel, sequel or spinoff. THR reports that the studio is returning to the world of 1992’s Aladdin for a story set before that animated classic, focusing on the backstory of one lamp-dwelling Genie.
Tentatively titled Genies (ugh), this live-action comedy-adventure is said to dive into the world of the Genies and specifically explain how the fun-loving Genie (voiced by the late Robin Williams) made his way into a lamp later polished by a young street urchin.
The blockbuster success of Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent and Cinderella has Disney high on fairy tales again, and the studio is keenly searching for any way to dust off its more iconic titles for a new generation. In the works already are a musical Beauty and the Beast take with Emma Watson in the lead role, a Jungle Book directed by Ron Howard, Tim Burton’s Dumbo adaptation, a Tinker Bell spinoff starring Reese Witherspoon, a new Mulan and, believe it or not, a feature film adaptation of the Fantastia segment Night on Bald Mountain.
So, suffice to say, Disney has its foot on the gas pedal and isn’t easing off it anytime soon. Luckily, Genies doesn’t sound as completely banal as that time alone would suggest, for one main reason – the scribes that have been tapped to deliver a treatment are none other than horror vets Damian Shannon and Mark Swift (behind Freddy vs. Jason and the Friday the 13th redo). That’s a plainly bizarre choice, despite Shannon and Swift’s experience with retooling existing characters, and the only explanation that makes sense is that the pair made Disney a pitch it couldn’t refuse.
No director or actors are yet attached to the project, though Disney has been focusing on pulling in some big names to helm its revisionist fairy tales. Keep your fingers crossed for Wes Anderson.