Disney has been raking in the cash from its series of live-action (and/or realistic CGI) remakes of its classic animated fare. The Lion King may be wart-hogging the spotlight now, but earlier this year a new take on an old favorite made waves — so much so that there's already talk of a sequel.
Aladdin, directed by Guy Ritchie, crossed the $1 billion mark less than a month ago, fueled by nostalgic fans and those simply curious to see Will Smith's big blue genie. Now, according to one of the film's producers, the future of Aladdin is already starting to snap into focus. When SYFY WIRE asked Dan Lin about making a sequel, possibly a remake of original direct-to-video follow-up Aladdin: The Return of Jafar, he was optimistic.
"We’d love to," the producer says. "People clearly loved the movie and watched it multiple times and we get lots of fan letters and people asking us to make Return [of] Jafar, and I can just tell you that we’re in early stages right now, but we’re certainly talking about another movie. Like with Aladdin, it will not be a straight remake of any movie that’s been made before, so we’re looking at ‘where’s the best way to go with these characters.’"
And it's all being buoyed by the warm reception the live-action remake has received from moviegoers. "The audience response has really touched us in thinking about where we can go with these stories," he adds, "and we feel like these characters have more adventures in store."
So perhaps not a by-the-book remake of Return of Jafar — which would be possible considering the groundwork laid by the 2019 film's ending — but something that could take the villain's story in a new direction while still including parts of the sequel. Aladdin did include some differences, which helped keep it fresh for audiences familiar with the original. Now that Lin and crew are "talking about another movie," those same concerns arise.
But some of that could be addressed by securing the man who helped helm Aladdin to its lucrative success: Guy Ritchie. Lin says that getting Ritchie on board for the sequel was a top order of business.
"Yeah, I think that’s certainly the hope," Lin explains. "He made this movie for his kids. They loved Aladdin, both the original animated movie and the Broadway musical, and they wanted him to make a movie that they could see. So he certainly loved the experience, I think both he and Will Smith — even before the box office success, they said it was the best filmmaking experience of their lives and they had so much fun doing it. And we’d love to have Guy back and get the team back together. If we do another Aladdin movie, we’d certainly love to have him at the helm."
Do you think they should do another Aladdin? How closely should they adapt Return of Jafar, or should elements of something like Aladdin and the King of Thieves be included? Fans have plenty of time to discuss. Aladdin will be released on digital on August 27 and Blu-ray on September 10.