Terry Rossio, one of the writers from the original animated Aladdin movie, isn't particularly thrilled with Disney's upcoming live-action remake. In recent years, the Mouse House's flagship Walt Disney Pictures production house has been busy remaking and reimagining iconic fairy-tale stories, many of which they've already told in animation form throughout the 20th century. But bringing these characters and stories, like Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, to life on the big screen in the 21st century has proven enormously successful - financially - for them.
So, it isn't particularly surprising that Disney would want to devote the vast majority of their resources to make more of those remakes. Next year will see three major live-action remakes (not including adaptations of other children and/or young adult stories) - Tim Burton's Dumbo, Guy Ritchie's Aladdin, and Jon Favreau's The Lion King - of which one of them, Aladdin, is currently making waves in the news for having released its first teaser trailer earlier this week. But not everyone is excited about the remake.
Shortly after the first Aladdin trailer released, acclaimed screenwriter Terry Rossio - who is known for having written screenplays for some of the biggest movies of the 1990s and 2000s, including several for Disney, such as the Pirates of the Caribbean movies - is expressing a distaste for the sheer lack of recognition on Disney's part over the Aladdin movie, especially since the recent trailer uses dialogue that he co-wrote for the animated movie.
It's absolutely worth noting that Rossio says Disney fulfilled their end of the bargain with regards to the original animated movie, but it's recognition, as well as at least some form of compensation, regarding these live-action remakes that's the issue at hand. Given that these stories are practically adapted versions of the animated films, it's understandable that the original writers should receive some form of compensation just like how writers of novels would be compensated when their stories are adapted for the big screen. The problem is, however, that Disney retains the rights to the original animated film, so they aren't contractually obligated to offer that film's writers anything, not even a simple credit.
But given that these live-action remakes are now a cornerstone of Disney's ongoing movie strategy, it stands to reason that they should at least provide the original creators something in return. Rossio says in his tweet thread that he asked for things like a pass to Disneyland Park to something as simple as a t-shirt - but those were all rebuffed. What's interesting, though, is that Disney apparently had granted him and other screenwriters lifetime passes to their theme park years ago but then later stripped them of that privilege.
Source: Terry Rossio
- Aladdin (2019) release date: May 24, 2019