Following a very mixed reaction to its 2019 Super Bowl TV spot, a new image from Disney's live-action Aladdin remake featuring Mena Massoud as Aladdin and Naomi Scott and Jasmine has been released this week. The image takes the focus away from Will Smith as the Genie and the viral memes he inspired, and puts it back on the film's hero and heroine, likely in an attempt to build some more positive buzz before the film's release this spring.
Disney's live-action remake of Aladdin will be directed by Guy Ritchie and feature likely breakout performances from Massoud and Scott as Aladdin and Jasmine, with Smith playing the Genie, a role made famous by the late Robin Williams. This live-action remake is just one of many from Disney, who's also working on live-action versions of The Lion King and Mulan and which follow in the footsteps of previous live-action remakes like Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella. The live-action Aladdin will stick closely to the plot of the 1992 animated film as it follows Aladdin, a poor young man living on the streets of Agrabah who comes into possession of a magic lamp containing a genie that grants him three life-changing wishes.
In a new sneak peek from Empire, fans get a new look at the first meeting between Aladdin (Massoud) and Jasmine (Scott). The photo shows Aladdin and Jasmine on what looks like a scaffold or platform, with Aladdin smiling a characteristically charming smile while Jasmine looks somewhat shocked. The photo is likely taken from early in the movie during the meet-cute between the heroic Aladdin couple, when Jasmine runs away from the palace to the marketplace. This is just one of the latest photos shared from the Aladdin live-action remake, with previous photos giving fans a first look at Jafar and Abu in addition to more photos of Aladdin and Jasmine.
Interestingly, Empire's coverage of the new Aladdin photo also features a tease at how the live-action remake will handle Jasmine's story, which is being updated even more from the Disney animated film to reflect more modern, feminist ideas. Speaking to Empire, Aladdin producer Dan Lin commented that "in the original movie, it felt like [Jasmine] didn’t have as compelling a goal. Her main aim was to find the love of her life" and that in the live-action remake "the romance is important, but she also wants to see more of Agrabah, and take more of a leadership role in ruling the city."
It's tough to say if this new image, or any amount of new first looks at this live-action Aladdin for that matter, will do anything to ease the nerves of nostalgic fans, but it's easy to be cautiously optimistic with this new image of Aladdin and Jasmine seemingly reviving some of the magic of the animated film. In fact, this new image feels like a bit of relief considering it's being released in the wake of reports during filming that raised alarm bells, including claims that extras were allegedly being made up to look darker than their natural skin tone because of where the film takes place and reports that a new character, a Swedish prince who would be another suitor of Jasmine's, was being added to the film and would reportedly be played by Billy Magnussen. It's all amounted to a boatload of trepidation about whether this Aladdin remake would be any good, and has left nostalgic fans of the 1992 film wondering whether it'll be worth the price of admission.
- Aladdin (2019) release date: May 24, 2019