Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 August 2020

The Return of Jafar? 'Aladdin 2' in the works with Mena Massoud and Will Smith expected to star

Disney has given a second live-action 'Aladdin' story the go-ahead, taking script inspiration from more 'One Thousand and One Nights' stories

Naomi Scott as Jasmine and Mena Massoud as Aladdin in Disney’s 2019 live-action adaptation of 'Aladdin', directed by Guy Ritchie. Courtesy Disney
Naomi Scott as Jasmine and Mena Massoud as Aladdin in Disney’s 2019 live-action adaptation of 'Aladdin', directed by Guy Ritchie. Courtesy Disney

Aladdin 2 is officially coming. The sequel to the 2019 Disney movie has been green lit and, according to the studio, it is looking to other stories from Middle Eastern folk tale collection One Thousand and One Nights for script inspiration.

Guy Ritchie is set to return to the director's chair, and it is expected that the cast will return, with Will Smith, Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott reprising their roles as Genie, Aladdin and Jasmine, respectively. John Gatins (Flight, Real Steel) and Andrea Berloff (Straight Outta Compton, The Kitchen) have been hired to write the follow-up script.

Mena Massoud as Aladdin, left, and Will Smith as Genie in Disney's live-action adaptation of the 1992 animated classic 'Aladdin'. Disney via AP
Mena Massoud as Aladdin, left, and Will Smith as Genie in Disney's live-action adaptation of the 1992 animated classic 'Aladdin'. Disney via AP

While the 2019 live-action movie musical was based on the 1992 animated film about street urchin Aladdin, who, with the help of a genie and a little magic, wins the heart of Princess Jasmine.

Details of the sequel's plot are yet to be announced, but the writers could steer the script in the direction of Disney's animated follow-ups to the 1992 hit flick, 1994's Aladdin: The Return of Jafar or 1996's Aladdin and the King of Thieves.

The Return of Jafar honed in on the movie's villain, who returns to exact his revenge on Aladdin. If the plot were to be shaped around the original sequel, it could be a big role for Tunisian-Dutch actor Marwan Kenzari, who played Jafar in 2019's live action remake.

Two years later, Disney returned with Aladdin and the King of Thieves, which told the story of a roguish villain who disrupts Aladdin and Jasmine's long-anticipated wedding.

A statement released by the studio said: "Disney held a writers' room in the summer to generate ideas for a follow-up. It is unknown what the idea is behind the next installment, but at one point the studio and producers were looking at other stories from One Thousand and One Nights, the collection of Middle Eastern folk tales that also houses Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves and Sinbad the Sailor."

Next month, Aladdin star Mena Massoud is coming to Dubai to appear at the 2020 Middle East Film and Comic Con from Thursday, March 5 to Saturday, March 7 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. It is expected that the Canadian-Egyptian actor will meet fans and share anecdotes from his time as Agrabah’s prince.

Updated: February 13, 2020 10:58 AM

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