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Aladdin 2019 Film
2019 film by Walt Disney Pictures directed by Guy Ritchie
In October 2016, Disney announced Ritchie would direct a live-action Aladdin remake. Smith was the first member of the cast to join, signing on to portray Genie in July 2017, and Massoud and Scott were confirmed for the two lead roles later that month. Principal photography began that September at Longcross Studios in Surrey, England, also filming in the Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan, and lasted until January 2018. Additional filming and pick-ups took place in August 2018.
Aladdin was theatrically released in the United States on May 24, 2019. It grossed $1 billion worldwide, becoming the ninth-highest-grossing film of 2019, and the 34th highest-grossing film of all-time. The film received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for its musical score, costume design, humor, and the performances of Smith, Massoud, and Scott, but criticism for Ritchie's direction and the screenplay. A sequel is in development.
Aladdin, a street urchin in the Arabian city of Agrabah, and his monkey Abu meet Princess Jasmine, who has snuck away from her sheltered life in the palace. Jasmine wishes to succeed her father as Sultan, but is instead expected to marry one of her royal suitors, including the dimwitted Prince Anders. Jafar, the grand vizier, schemes to overthrow the Sultan and seeks a magic lamp hidden in the Cave of Wonders, but only "the diamond in the rough" can enter the cave.
After sneaking into the royal palace and visiting Jasmine, Aladdin is captured by Jafar. He offers to make Aladdin rich enough to impress Jasmine in exchange for retrieving the lamp, and warns him to take nothing else. Inside the cave, Aladdin frees a magic carpet and finds the lamp, but Abu couldn't resist the treasure and causes the cave to collapse. Aladdin gives the lamp to Jafar, who kicks him and Abu into the cave, but Abu steals the lamp back.
Trapped in the cave, Aladdin rubs the lamp, unwittingly summoning the omnipotent Genie inside, who explains that he has the power to grant Aladdin three wishes. Aladdin tricks the Genie into freeing them from the cave without using a wish. Determined to woo Jasmine, he uses his first wish to become a prince, and promises to use his third wish to free the Genie from servitude and turn him human.
Aladdin makes an extravagant arrival at Agrabah as Prince Ali of Ababwa, but fails to impress Jasmine. Posing as the "prince's" human servant, the Genie is mutually smitten with Dalia, Jasmine's handmaiden. Aladdin and Jasmine bond when he takes her on a ride on the magic carpet. Tricked into revealing his true identity, he convinces her that he actually is a prince and dressed like a peasant to explore Agrabah.
Jafar discovers Aladdin's identity and throws him into the palace moat, knowing that if he survives, it will prove he has the lamp. The Genie saves Aladdin, at the cost of his second wish. Aladdin returns to the palace and destroys Jafar's magic staff, ending his spell over the Sultan and exposing his plot, and Jafar is imprisoned. The Sultan allows Aladdin to marry Jasmine. Aladdin decides to save his final wish, aware that he will lose Jasmine if the truth unfolds, much to the Genie's disappointment.
Freed by his scarlet macaw sidekick, Iago, Jafar steals the lamp and becomes the Genie's new master. He uses his first wish to become sultan, but Jasmine reminds the palace guards of their true loyalty, turning them against Jafar. Using his second wish to become the world's most powerful sorcerer, Jafar exposes Aladdin and exiles him and Abu to a frozen wasteland, then threatens to kill the Sultan and Dalia unless Jasmine agrees to marry him. At the wedding, Jasmine seizes the lamp and escapes with Aladdin and Abu, who were rescued by the magic carpet. Pursued by Iago, whom Jafar briefly transforms into a roc, they are recaptured, destroying the magic carpet in the process.
Aladdin taunts Jafar for being second in power to the Genie, goading him into using his last wish to become "the most powerful being in the universe", and the Genie transforms Jafar into an even more powerful genie. This traps Jafar inside his own lamp, dragging Iago with him, and the Genie banishes them to the Cave of Wonders. Aladdin keeps his promise and uses his last wish to free the Genie, allowing him to live as a human without magical powers. The Sultan crowns Jasmine the new sultana-regnant, no longer bound to marry a prince, and she and Aladdin marry. The Genie marries Dalia and they start a family and explore the world together.
Mena Massoud as Aladdin: An impoverished but kind-hearted Agrabah thief and street urchin who is in love with Princess Jasmine. Massoud said that Aladdin "sees a future for himself that's greater than what's been set out for him at the present moment. He doesn't know exactly what it is or how he's going to get there, but he knows it is out there," and felt the character "[i]s very selfless and usually does things for other people, but as he falls in love he loses himself a little bit and starts to become someone that he's not. But he's a good person with good intentions and has good people surrounding him who lead him back to where he's supposed to be."
Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine: The Sultan's daughter and the feisty princess of Agrabah who wants to have a say in how she lives her life. Scott said that the character "will be strong and have fun, but also get it wrong and be emotional. She's a multidimensional woman, and she does not have to just be one thing. So in this movie, you see her go on such a roller coaster, as opposed to her one goal being to escape the loneliness of royalty and find a companion." She further stated that Jasmine will try to find "the courage to speak out for her people," and said that "Jasmine wants to know what goes on in her kingdom and reconcile the distance that has been created, and Aladdin gives her the courage to do just that."
Will Smith as Genie / Mariner: A comedically eccentric and kindly jinn who has the power to grant three wishes to whoever possesses his magic lamp. Smith said that he was "terrified" while playing the character, but that "[he] found a lane that pays homage" to Robin Williams' performance in the original animated film, while still making the role "[his] own thing." Smith described the character as "both a trickster and a mentor," who tries "to guide Aladdin to the truth of the greatness that's already within him." Smith physically portrays the character when he is in the guise of a human, while his giant blue genie form is CGI, portrayed through motion-capture performance.
Marwan Kenzari as Jafar: A nefarious, deceptive, power-hungry sorcerer and the Grand vizier of Agrabah who, frustrated with the Sultan's ways of ruling, devises a plot to overthrow him as the ruler of Agrabah by acquiring the Genie's lamp. Jafar's backstory is explored in the film, which producer Jonathan Eirich felt would make the audience "understand why he's so bad," as "that's what makes him such a good villain."
Navid Negahban as The Sultan: The wise and noble ruler of Agrabah who is eager to find a capable husband for his daughter Jasmine. On playing the character, Negahban said that it was "very scary because [the Sultan] has so many followers. Lots of people grew up with that character, so they have certain expectations. It's not just an animated character. This has become a real personality, a real persona." He further stated that "after I read the script, I felt that re-watching the original will pollute my vision of the live-action character. In the new Aladdin, the Sultan has more depth and is not a caricature of a father. But I will let you judge it for yourself."
Nasim Pedrad as Dalia: Jasmine's loyal handmaiden and confidante. Pedrad said that Dalia "[has] been by Jasmine's side for years and really looks out for her". Dalia is the only new character from the main cast.
The Cave of Wonders, a sand guardian who guards the magic lamp from intruders and only gives to someone who's worthy, "a diamond in the rough". Out of the three roles, this is the only one for which Welker receives credit.
Additionally, Tayliah Blair and Jordan A. Nash respectively play Genie and Dalia's daughter and son, Lian and Omar.
Development and casting
On October 10, 2016, it was announced that Guy Ritchie would direct a live-actionAladdin film for Walt Disney Pictures, with John August writing the script and Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich attached as producers. The studio said that the film would be "an ambitious and nontraditional" take on the tale of Aladdin that would keep the musical elements of the original film. On the nontraditional aspect, the studio had originally planned for the film to be told in a nonlinear format.
On July 11, 2017, it was announced that principal production on Aladdin had been pushed back by a month, to August 2017, due to struggles in finding the right actor to portray the titular role. Over 2,000 actors and actresses had auditioned for the roles of Aladdin and Jasmine, but finding a male lead of Middle Eastern or Indian descent in his 20s, who could act and sing, had proven difficult for the producers. Naomi Scott and Tara Sutaria were the final two actresses in the running for the role of Jasmine, but neither could be cast until a chemistry test was done with whomever would be cast as Aladdin. The studio was initially interested in Dev Patel or Riz Ahmed for Aladdin, but later decided to cast a relative newcomer. Achraf Koutet, Mena Massoud and George Kosturos were among the actors being tested for the role. Two musical film veterans, Marc Platt and Chris Montan, were consulted before a final decision was made.
At the 2017 D23 Expo, on July 15, it was announced that Massoud would star as Aladdin and Scott as Jasmine, ending the four-month long open casting call. On July 17, 2017, it was announced that Disney had hired Vanessa Taylor to polish the original screenplay by August, specifically some "character work" and what is called "script doctoring." Meanwhile, Richie and the studio focused on casting the other main roles with filming slated to start in August in London. In August, Dutch actor Marwan Kenzari joined the cast as Jafar, with Nasim Pedrad cast in a newly created role as "a hand maid and friend of Jasmine" who serves as a "comic relief." Numan Acar was set to play Hakim. The following month, Billy Magnussen joined the cast in a newly created role as Prince Anders, alongside Navid Negahban as the Sultan. In November 2017, Robby Haynes was cast as Razoul, while Frank Welker was announced to reprise his role as Abu the monkey.
When asked about Ritchie's take on the film, Pasek & Paul described it as "very muscular and action-packed." On December 20, 2018, Gilbert Gottfried said that he was not asked to reprise his role as Iago, Jafar's pet parrot. In March 2019, it was announced that Alan Tudyk would voice the character instead. In May 2019, Welker was announced as reprising his role as Rajah, Jasmine's pet tiger, and the trailer had confirmed that Welker would reprise his role as the Cave of Wonders as well.
The "Prince Ali" musical sequence features 1,000 dancers and extras. Smith frequently improvises throughout the film. Massoud also revealed that there was a whole scene, where Prince Ali and Genie meet the royal family for the first time, that was improvised by the cast.
The decision to hire Scott, the daughter of an English father and a GujaratiUgandan-Indian mother, to play the lead of Princess Jasmine, also drew criticism, as well as accusations of colorism, as some commentators expected the role to go to an actress of Arab or Middle Eastern origin. In December 2018, Julie Ann Crommett, Disney's Vice President of Multicultural Engagement, said the decision to cast Scott as Jasmine reflected the mixing or association of different cultures in the broad region that consists of the Middle East, South Asia and China by extension - all of which make up the Silk Road. She stated that Agrabah is intended to be the center of the Silk Road, and added that Jasmine's mother would be from a land that was not Agrabah.
The decision of casting Magnussen as a new white character, original to the film, drew criticism from fans and commentators. They deemed it "unnecessary" and "offensive," accusing the film of whitewashing, and pointing out the irony regarding the worldwide search for actors and actresses to play the leads in connection to the controversy.
In January 2018, it was reported that white extras were being applied brown make-up during filming in order to "blend in," which caused an outcry and condemnation among fans and critics, branding the practice as "an insult to the whole industry" while accusing the producers of not recruiting people with Middle-Eastern or North African heritage. Disney responded to the controversy saying, "Diversity of our cast and background performers was a requirement and only in a handful of instances when it was a matter of specialty skills, safety and control (special effects rigs, stunt performers and handling of animals) were crew made up to blend in."
The visual effects were provided by Industrial Light & Magic and supervised by Michael Mullholland, Daniele Bigi and David Seager, with the help of Hybride Technologies, DNEG, Nzviage and Proof.
Alan Menken was brought in to compose the score for the film, after doing so for the original animated film. Pasek & Paul wrote a new song with Menken, and several songs from the original film by Menken, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice were featured in the remake.
Will Smith debuted the first official poster on October 10, 2018. The teaser trailer was released the following day. In December 2018, Entertainment Weekly offered a first official look at the cast in costume on the cover of their issue for the most anticipated films of 2019. On February 10, 2019, Disney debuted a special sneak peek of the film during the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, which was met with largely negative feedback from audiences, primarily due to the quality of the CGI Genie in his blue design, created via motion capture effects. The negative reception sparked a large amount of memes and Photoshop edits mocking Will Smith's appearance in the sneak peek, several of which compared it with Tobias Fünke (from Arrested Development) painted in blue in an attempt to join the Blue Man Group. On March 12, 2019, Disney debuted a second trailer on Good Morning America. The trailer had a much more positive reception than the previous one, as it featured several songs from the original film and more of Smith not entirely in motion-capture. His CGI scenes received better notices, as well, although it was still mostly criticized by some critics when the film was released.
Aladdin made its streaming debut on Disney+ on January 8, 2020. With the launch of Disney+Hotstar on April 3, 2020; it was released in India in multiple languages.
Aladdin grossed $356.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $695.1 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $1.051 billion, against a production budget of $183 million. The film crossed the $1 billion mark on July 26, 2019, becoming the 41st film to ever reach the milestone.Deadline Hollywood calculated the net profit of the film to be $356million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues.
In the United States and Canada, Aladdin was released alongside Booksmart and Brightburn, and was projected to gross around $80 million from 4,476 theaters over its four-day opening weekend over Memorial Day. While Disney was projecting a $75-85 million debut, some independent trackers had the film opening to as low as $65 million or as high as $100 million. The film made $31 million on its first day, including $7 million from Thursday night previews, the second-best total of the Disney live action remakes. The film ended up overperforming, grossing $91.5 million in its three-day opening weekend, and $116.8 million over four days during the extended Memorial Day frame. It was the third biggest opening of 2019 at the time (behind Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel), and the fifth-highest Memorial Day launch ever, as well as the best debut of Ritchie's career and second best of Smith's. The film then grossed $11.9 million on its fifth day, the biggest post-Memorial Day Tuesday ever. In its second weekend, the film made $42.3 million, finishing second, behind newcomer Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and then made $24.7 million in its third weekend, finishing third. It retained the third-place position at the box office during its fourth and fifth weekends with $17.3 million and $13.2 million, respectively.
Worldwide, the film was expected to open to an additional $100-120 million, including $10-20 million in China. It went on to gross $123.2 million from foreign territories in its three-day opening weekend, for an overall global debut of $214.7 million. It was the number-one film in every Latin American and Asian territory where it was released. Its biggest international openings were in China ($18.7 million), Mexico ($9.2 million), the United Kingdom ($8.4 million), Italy ($6.6 million), and South Korea ($6.5 million). It also won the second best opening of 2019 in Italy, Spain, Indonesia, and Vietnam. In India, it debuted with (US$3.1 million), the year's third best opening for a foreign film (behind Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel). By Monday, the film had a global four-day launch of $255 million. In its second weekend of international release the film made $78.3 million from 54 countries, remaining number one in 32 of them. In its fourth international weekend, Aladdin remained number one in twenty countries. By the end of June 2019, the film surpassed Independence Day (1996) to become the highest-grossing film of Will Smith's career. As of 19 August 2019[update], the film's top five international markets are Japan ($110.1 million), South Korea ($90.4 million), China ($53.5 million), the United Kingdom ($46.4 million), and Mexico ($32.5 million).
It topped the UK box office for four weeks. In the Middle East, it had the best Ramadan opening ever in the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, and went on to become the highest-grossing release of all time in the Middle East. In Japan, the film debuted with $12.9 million, the year's highest opening weekend for a foreign film, surpassing Avengers: Endgame. As of September 2019, it is the year's second highest-grossing film in Japan (behind Weathering with You), and one of the top 20 highest-grossing films ever in Japan. In South Korea, it grossed over $82 million from over 11.4million ticket sales as of July 2019, making it the year's third highest-grossing film and second highest-grossing foreign film in South Korea, as well as the third highest-grossing foreign film ever in South Korea and the highest grossing Disney film ever (not including the MCU) in the country.
On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 57% based on 362 reviews with an average rating of 5.88/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Aladdin retells its classic source material's story with sufficient spectacle and skill, even if it never approaches the dazzling splendor of the animated original." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 53 out of 100 based on 50 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an overall positive score of 90% (with an average 4.5 stars out of 5) and a 70% "definite recommend."
Writing for the Chicago Sun-Times, Richard Roeper gave the film 3 out of 4 stars, praising Smith, Scott, and Massoud's performances and calling it a "shining, shimmering live-action update."Varietys Peter Debruge summarized his review with, "Will Smith steps into Robin Williams's shoes, bringing fresh attitude to the role of the Genie in Guy Ritchie's high-risk, mostly rewarding live-action remake." A Mir Fantastiki review by Yevgeniy Peklo gave the film a score of 8/10, saying it was "probably the best Disney live-action remake up to date."
Despite praising the cast, William Bibbiani of TheWrap said of the film, "If you don't think about it very hard (although you probably should), the remake of Aladdin might entertain you. But you'd be a heck of a lot more entertained by watching the original film again. Or by going to a real-life parade. Or by doing some light gardening. Or by doing a crossword puzzle." Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a C+, lamenting that it did not add anything new to its 1992 animated predecessor; he felt that the film was unable to update the original's questionable Middle Eastern characterizations, but nevertheless praised the performances of Smith and Scott. Mark Kennedy of the Associated Press wrote that "Guy Ritchie... was always an odd choice to helm a big Disney romantic musical and proves utterly the wrong guy here. Aladdin, in his hands, is more like The Mummy than Frozen."
On August 12, 2019, producer Lin announced his enthusiasm for a sequel and revealed that Disney is in the early stages of developing a follow-up. The studio also hopes to bring back Ritchie to direct and Smith to reprise his role as The Genie while also telling a story that's "fresh and new". He later stated that if they would make a sequel to Aladdin, it would not be a direct adaptation of the animated films The Return of Jafar or Aladdin and the King of Thieves but could borrow elements of them. It was also told that they would look at various sources for the sequel's story. On February 12, 2020, Variety officially confirmed that a sequel is in development, with John Gatins and Andrea Berloff set to write the script. Lin and Eirich will return as producers, and Massoud, Smith, and Scott will reprise their roles. The sequel had been officialized once the producers had a good story and knew their path ahead for Aladdin 2.
A year before deciding to remake Aladdin, Disney made an announcement in 2015 that it would make a live-action prequel to the aforementioned film above under the title Genies. The new film was reported to focus on genies and their realm and reveal how Aladdin's genie ended up in the lamp. Writers Mark Swift and Damian Shannon were hired to write the script, while Tripp Vinson was to serve as a producer under his Vinson Films banner. No further announcements of the project have been announced as of September 2020.
On December 6, 2019, it was announced that a spin-off film focused on Prince Anders was in development for Disney+ with Jordan Dunn and Michael Kvamme writing the script and Magnussen reprising his role.