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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 during its theatrical run. The film received mixed reviews from critics; while the musical score, costumes and performances of Smith, Massoud and Scott were praised, criticisms were aimed at Ritchie's direction, the CGI effects, the deviations from the original film and Kenzari's performance as Jafar. A sequel is in development.
Aladdin, a kind-hearted street urchin, 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 with the support of Iago, his sardonic pet parrot. He seeks a magic lamp hidden in the Cave of Wonders that will grant him three wishes. He has been unable to retrieve the lamp himself because only "the diamond in the rough" is allowed to enter the cave.
Jafar discovers Aladdin is the diamond in the rough and when Aladdin sneaks back into the royal palace to talk to Jasmine (while also meeting Jasmine's handmaiden Dalia, and pet tiger Rajah), he is captured and persuaded by Jafar's deal to help him retrieve the lamp: since only Aladdin can enter the cave alive, he will retrieve the lamp for Jafar and Jafar will make Aladdin rich enough to impress Jasmine. Jafar warns Aladdin not to take anything but the lamp. Inside the cave, Aladdin finds a magic carpet and obtains the lamp, but Abu accidentally causes the cave to collapse after he catches a falling ruby. Aladdin gives the lamp to Jafar, but he double-crosses Aladdin and kicks him and Abu back into the cave, though Abu steals the lamp back. The magic carpet catches Aladdin and saves him from falling to his death.
Trapped in the cave, Aladdin rubs the lamp, unwittingly summoning the omnipotent Genie who lives inside it. The Genie explains that he has the power to grant Aladdin three wishes, with the exceptions of murder, romance, the resurrection of the dead, and more wishes. Aladdin gets the Genie to free them from the cave without using a wish on a technicality: Aladdin didn't rub the lamp as he stated the 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 and turn him human. Abu is temporarily transformed into an elephant in the process.
Aladdin enters Agrabah as Prince Ali of Ababwa, arriving in an extravagant spectacle. However, Jasmine is unimpressed by his first presentation, including an assortment of gifts and gems. 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 the Genie goes out with Dalia. Jasmine realizes who Aladdin is and tricks him into revealing his true identity; however, 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 and, to test his theory, throws Aladdin into the sea, saying if he lives, it will be because he found the lamp, and the Genie saved him. If he dies, he really is a prince and doesn't have the lamp. Abu, now a monkey again, and the carpet arrive with the lamp, but Aladdin loses consciousness before he can rub it. The Genie, impressed by Aladdin's good character, assumes he can Genie rules allow him to save Aladdin, but at the cost of his second wish. At the palace, Jafar tries to turn the others against Aladdin and the Genie with lies, but when Aladdin returns, Jafar is exposed by him and Jasmine, who was also suspicious of Jafar. He is arrested and imprisoned in the dungeon. The Sultan offers Aladdin the position as heir to the throne. Fearing he will lose Jasmine if the truth is revealed, Aladdin decides to reserve the Genie for then and refuses to free him. The Genie tells Aladdin that he was the first master he ever considered a friend and that he's now breaking his heart.
Iago snatches one of the guards' keys, and he frees Jafar. Jafar stealthily steals the lamp from Aladdin and becomes the Genie's new master, to his horror. As Aladdin realizes he has betrayed his friend the Genie and decides to free him, he notices the lamp is gone.
Jafar uses his first wish to become Sultan. When the loyal guards refuse to acknowledge the change, per Jasmine's request, he makes a second wish to become the world's most powerful sorcerer and imprisons the guards and Rajah. He then exposes Aladdin's identity to Jasmine and exiles him and Abu to a frozen wasteland on the other side of the Earth. He threatens to kill the Sultan and Dalia unless Jasmine 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. Jafar, angered by the Sultan's attempt to stop him, overpowers them and severely damaging the magic carpet in the process. Iago steals the lamp back.
Aladdin stalls by taunting Jafar for being second and powerless to the Genie, thereby tricking him into using his last wish to become the most powerful being in the universe. Due to the vagueness of the wish, the Genie is able to use it to turn Jafar into a genie; chained to the lamp without a master, Jafar is trapped inside, dragging Iago in with him. The Genie banishes them and throws Jafar's lamp to the Cave of Wonders and repairs the magic carpet. Aladdin keeps his promise, using his last wish to free the Genie and allow him to live as a human. The Sultan declares that Jasmine will be the next ruler and tells her that Aladdin is a good person, outlines how worthy he is, and tells her as sultana, she can overturn the law that requires her to marry a prince.
The 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 as well.
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.
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."
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".
Numan Acar as Hakim: The head of the palace guards who is loyal to the Sultan of Agrabah, as his father worked for the Sultan as a palace servant.
Nina Wadia as Zulla: A market trader who dislikes Aladdin. Wadia was especially pleased to accept the last minute casting call as they required extra footage, filming the scene after production had wrapped.
Alan Tudyk as the voice of Iago: Jafar's sardonic and intelligentscarlet macaw companion. The film marks the first time that Gilbert Gottfried has not voiced the character. In this film, Iago is portrayed a little more realistically than the original. However, he still retains his sardonicism and loyalty to Jafar. Gottfried has stated his outrage in not being chosen to voice Iago again. This is Tudyk's 8th Disney voice role.
Additionally, Tayliah Blair and Jordan A. Nash respectively play Genie and Dalia's daughter and son, Lian and Omar. In addition to providing the vocal effects for Abu, Welker also provides the vocal effects for Jasmine's protective pet Bengal tigerRajah and voices 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". He reprises all three roles from the original movie despite only being credited for voicing the Cave of Wonders.
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. 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 November 2017, Robby Haynes was cast as Razoul, while Frank Welker was announced to reprise his role as Abu the monkey.
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.
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.
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 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 meets the royal family for the first time, that was improvised by the cast.
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.
Aladdin made its streaming debut on Disney+ on January 8, 2020.
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.
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. Opening-day audiences were 59% female and 41% male, and ethnically 42% Caucasian, 27% Hispanic, 15% African American and 11% Asian. 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."
At the Oscar 2020, the movie was pre-nominated in Best Original Song for "Speechless". But it wasn't nominated on the final list.
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 reported that a sequel is in development, with John Gatins and Andrea Berloff set to write the screenplay. Lin and Eirich are confirmed to return as producers, and Massoud, Smith, and Scott are expected to 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 Damian Shannon and Mark Swift were hired to write the script, while Tripp Vinson was to serve as producer through Vinson Films. No further announcements of the project have been announced as of April 2020.
On December 6, 2019, it was announced that a spin-off film focused on Prince Anders was in development for release on Disney+ with Magnussen reprising his role.