Aladdin is a 2019 American musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Guy Ritchie, who co-wrote the screenplay with John August. It is a live action adaptation of Disney's 1992 animated film of the same name, which is based on the eponymous tale from One Thousand and One Nights. The film stars Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Marwan Kenzari,Navid Negahban, Nasim Pedrad, Billy Magnussen, and Numan Acar, as well as the voices of Alan Tudyk and Frank Welker. The plot follows Aladdin, a street urchin, as he falls in love with Princess Jasmine, befriends a wish-granting Genie, and battles the wicked Jafar.
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 has grossed $1 billion worldwide, becoming the fifth highest-grossing film of 2019, the 38th highest-grossing film all-time and the highest grossing film of Smith's career. The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the performances of Smith, Massoud and Scott, the costumes and the musical score, but criticized Ritchie's direction and the CGI effects. Critics were also divided on the deviations from the original film.
Aladdin, a kind-hearted young thief (often called a "street rat") living in the Arabian city of Agrabah, along with his pet monkey Abu, rescues and befriends Princess Jasmine, who has snuck out of the palace to explore, tired of her sheltered life. Meanwhile, the Grand vizier Jafar schemes to overthrow Jasmine's father as the Sultan. He, along with his pet parrot and spy, Iago, seeks a magic lamp hidden in the Cave of Wonders that will grant his three wishes. Only one person is worthy to enter: "the diamond in the rough", whom he decides is Aladdin. Aladdin is captured and Jafar persuades him to retrieve the lamp. Inside the cave, Aladdin finds a magic carpet and obtains the lamp. He gives it to Jafar, who double crosses him and throws him back into the cave, though Abu steals the lamp back.
Trapped in the cave, Aladdin rubs the lamp, unwittingly summoning Genie, a powerful omnipotent being who lives inside it. Genie explains that he has the power to grant Aladdin three wishes. Aladdin tricks Genie into freeing them from the cave without using a wish. After they get out of the cave, Aladdin uses his first official wish to become a prince to impress Jasmine, and promises to use his third wish to free the Genie from servitude.
Aladdin enters Agrabah as "Prince Ali of Ababwa", arriving in an extravagant spectacle (including Abu, who has been transformed into an elephant by Genie) but Jasmine is unimpressed by his first presentation, including an assortment of gifts and jams. The two later bond when he takes her on a ride on the magic carpet to show her the world she wants to see while Genie goes out with Jasmine's handmaiden Dalia. When Jasmine deduces Aladdin's true identity, he convinces her that he is actually a prince and only dressed like a peasant to meet the citizens of Agrabah beforehand.
Jafar discovers Aladdin's identity by threatening him to reveal where the lamp was and throws him into the sea but Genie rescues him at the cost of his second wish. They then expose Jafar, who is arrested and imprisoned in the dungeons. After the Sultan offers Aladdin the position as heir, Aladdin, fearing he will lose Jasmine if the truth is revealed, says he needs Genie with him now and refuses to free him. Genie tells Aladdin that he is not being true to himself.
Iago snatches one of the guardsmen’s keys and he frees Jafar. Jafar then sneakily steals the lamp from Aladdin and becomes Genie's new master. He uses his first two wishes to become Sultan and then to become the world's most powerful sorcerer, trapping the guards and Jasmine's pet tiger Rajah. He then exposes Aladdin's truth to Jasmine and exiles him and Abu to a frozen wasteland. He threatens to kill Jasmine's father and Dalia unless she agrees to marry him. At the wedding ceremony, Aladdin and Abu return, having been rescued by the magic carpet and Jasmine steals back the lamp. Furious, Jafar transforms Iago into a roc to give chase and overpowers them.
Aladdin stalls by taunting Jafar for being second only to Genie in terms of raw power, thereby tricking him into using his last wish to become the most powerful being in the universe. Due to the grey area in that wish, Genie is free to interpret it as he wishes and turns Jafar into a genie himself. Being chained to the lamp without a master, Jafar gets trapped inside, dragging Iago inside with him. Genie throws Jafar's lamp to the Cave of Wonders and Aladdin keeps his promise, using his last wish to free Genie and turn him human. The Sultan declares that Jasmine will be the next ruler and tells her that Aladdin is a good person, and Jasmine reunites with him. Genie marries Dalia and leaves to explore the world and start a family with her. Aladdin and Jasmine get married and start a new life.
S. ee also: Aladdin (2019 soundtrack)
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.
Principal photography began on September 6, 2017, at Longcross Studios in Surrey, England, and wrapped on January 24, 2018. Part of the film was shot in Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan. The Royal Film Commission provided support to the production during filming and assisted in facilitating logistics. Reshoots took place during August 2018. The film's production sets were designed by Game of Thrones production designer Gemma Jackson.
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 "Prince Ali" musical sequence features 1000 dancers and extras.
Will Smith as Genie
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 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.
An impoverished Agrabah thief and "street rat" who is smitten with the Sultan's daughter. With the Genie's help, he masquerades as Prince Ali Ababwa. 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."
2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc.
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 fall in love or get married." 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."
A nefarious and deceptive sorcerer, the Grand vizier of Agrabah, and the Sultan's chief advisor. Frustrated with the Sultan's ways of ruling, he 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.
Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Trey Smith, and Willow Smith at an event for Aladdin (2019). By © 2019 Shutterstock.
Aladdin is set to be released in Digital HD for download and streaming on August 27, 2019, and on Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, and DVD on September 10. The film will be available during the first year of launch on Disney+.
Courtesy of Visual Hollywood and Shutterstock and Daniel Smith - © 2018 Disney Enterprises, Inc/Walt Disney Pictures