“Oi, Aladdin. You muppet. You slag. You barrel of cockney bleedin’ monkeys. I’ll take that lamp and stick it so far up your ‘arris, it’ll come out the other end, sunshine.”
Not the sort of thing you’d usually expect to hear in a Disney film, of course, but that could all change as Guy Ritchie is set to direct the live-action version of Aladdin.
In truth, Ritchie’s days as director of gangster fare like Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch are way behind him, with 2008’s RocknRolla marking a brief resurgence. Since then, he’s directed proper blockbusters in the Sherlock Holmes movies, and last year’s stylish Man From U.N.C.L.E. reboot, so he could be a dab hand for the big budget version of Disney’s 1992 Oscar-winner.
Reporting that Richie is in negotiations with the Mouse House, The Hollywood Reporter claims Disney wants the film to have a sliced-up, non-linear narrative, which would also suit Ritchie’s choppy, energetic filmmaking style.
What’s less sure, however, is how Ritchie will handle the big musical numbers, which are apparently a big part of the new script, by Big Fish screenwriter John August.
So – if we can stretch the gag a little further - what should we expect from Ritchie’s take on an all-singing, all-dancing Disney classic? Vinnie Jones atop a magic carpet, belting out A Whole New World? Or Jason Statham grunting his way through Prince Ali?
The real question is who could possibly play the role of the Genie, which will forever be associated Robin Williams’ frenetic performance.
And after the success of Maleficent and The Jungle Book – not to mention Jon Favreau’s upcoming Lion King adaptation - Disney clearly has a taste for plundering its own back catalogue for live action blockbusters. Expect to see your fave cartoon classic brought to life soon.