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Sorry, 'Return of Jafar' fans: Live action 'Aladdin' sequel set to be an original story

'It’s not going to be based off the animated version at all,' Mena Massoud says of Aladdin 2.

By Gina Salamone
Mena Massoud as Aladdin in ALADDIN (2019)

Expect a whole new world if a sequel to 2019's Aladdin arrives on the big screen. Mena Massoud, who starred as the title character in Disney's musical film that was adapted from the 1992 animated flick of the same name, says that a sequel, if it happens, won't be based on the animated film.

When asked by Variety in a recent interview if there were any updates on Aladdin 2, Massoud admitted, "I don’t know that there is movement.

"There was a change with the writers, and they are working on a brand new draft," he added. "That’s all I know. If Aladdin 2 happens, that’s fantastic. I think it should happen. Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich of Rideback Productions, who did the Lego movies and Aladdin, want to make sure they get this right. So if we do see Aladdin 2, it’s not going to be based off the animated version at all. This is going to be a brand new original story."

It was previously reported by Variety that producers Lin and Eirich want to bring back Massoud, along with Will Smith, who starred as Genie, and Naomi Scott, who played Jasmine.

Guy Ritchie, who directed 2019's Aladdin, is still attached to helm the sequel. He told The Hollywood Reporter last week that he wouldn't have an issue with bringing Smith back for the live-action movie, despite the actor's infamous slap of comedian Chris Rock live on stage at this year's Academy Awards ceremony. 

“I’ve never met a more lovely man, and working with him was one of the most wonderful, great experiences I’ve ever had,” Ritchie said. “I never saw anything other than the consummate, generous gentleman.”

The Oscars incident unfolded after Rock made a G.I. Jane crack about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who suffers from the hair-loss condition alopecia areata, and had been shaving her head.

Ritchie said there's no reason to not not have Smith back on board. “I wouldn’t have any issue casting Will Smith in anything, because, as I say, he was just the f---ing perfect gentleman,” he told THR

The 1992 version of Aladdin inspired two animated sequels that went straight to video, 1994's The Return of Jafar and 1996's Aladdin and the King of Thieves. The original film featured Robin Williams voicing Genie, and the movie won a pair of Oscars, in the Best Original Score and Best Original Song categories. "A Whole New World," which earned that song award, also won several different honors at the Grammy Awards.

In the mood for some illuminating animation? Check out Minions: The Rise of Gru, now streaming on Peacock!