Disney’s live-action adaptations have been a huge success for the company. Not only have they made an enormous amount of money, but they’ve also pleased critics and fans alike. As such, hopes are very high for Jon Favreau’s The Lion King and Tim Burton’s Dumbo, but sandwiched between them is Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin. Though it initially looked quite promising, after the reveal of Will Smith’s Genie in classic blue form, the film’s been subject to much online mockery for its special effects.
Now, possibly in a move designed to reassure fans of the 1992 classic that the remake will still have it where it counts, Disney’s released a still of the moment in which Aladdin and Princess Jasmine meet for the first time. If you’ll remember the original, Jasmine sneaks out of the palace in disguise only to fall foul of some sinister guards. Aladdin then steps in to save her and their romance begins. It’s difficult to judge from the still below, but it seems that Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott have indeed captured this famous first encounter in their performances.
But that’s not to say that this Aladdin will be a one to one recreation of the original. Producer Dan Lin has explained that they’ve tried to make Jasmine a stronger character than she previously was, saying:
“In the original movie, it felt like [Jasmine] didn’t have as compelling a goal. Her main aim was to find the love of her life. In this case, the romance is important, but she also wants to see more of Agrabah, and take more of a leadership role in ruling the city. Her character has a much stronger journey.”
I’ve always had a soft spot for the 1992 Aladdin (and playing the Genesis platform game for hours ensured that the songs are forever stuck in my head), so I’m hoping that Guy Ritchie’s going to turn this one around. Sure, that Genie reveal was less than stellar, but we can only judge it in the context of the rest of the movie. Fingers crossed, eh?