Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin to feature new songs by Greatest Showman lyricists
Guy Ritchie’s live-action remake of Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ will feature two new songs written by ‘The Greatest Showman’ songwriters.
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are receiving continual praise for their Academy Award nominated song ‘This Is Me’ from the Hugh Jackman-starring original musical.
But despite failing to win the Original Song category on Sunday, they revealed they have collaborated with long-time Disney composer Alan Menken for the upcoming new movie.
Alan Menken is the legendary composer who, along with people like John Williams, James Horner, and Jerry Goldsmith, essentially scored the childhoods of cinephiles growing up in the ’80s and ’90s. Menken was responsible for the enduring tunes from Walt Disney Animation’s animated renaissance, providing scores for films like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, and Tangled
Pasek told Variety: “We’re really thrilled that we got to collaborate with one of our heroes Alan Menken.
“We collaborated with him and wrote the lyrics for two new songs for ‘Aladdin’ that’s coming out next year.
“We’re really excited for that, and really thrilled to be a part of the Disney family.”
The new movie stars Will Smith as The Genie, Mena Massoud as the titular character, Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine and Marwan Kanzari as the villain Jafar.
The impressive cast also includes ‘Homeland’ star Numan Acar who is reportedly set to play Hakim – head of the guards and right hand man to the feature’s villain Jafar.
Former ‘Saturday Night Live’ star Nasim Pedrad has been chosen to play new character Mara, a handmaiden and friend to Jasmine along with Billy Magunssen as Prince Anders.
‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory’ writer John August penned the script for the musical movie, which is believed to be non-linear in its structure, something that is a hallmark of Ritchie’s early work on movies like cult British crime romps ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ and ‘Snatch’.
The story is based on the Middle Eastern folk tale of Aladdin who is granted three wishes by a genie who is captive inside a magic lamp.
The 1992 original animated feature – which saw the late great Robin Williams voice The Genie – won two Oscars, Best Music and Original Song for ‘A Whole New World’.
‘Aladdin’ has also been turned into a hit stage show playing at theatres all over the world.
The movie is just one of the many films that Disney are rebooting, as new versions of ‘Dumbo’, ‘Mulan’, ‘Peter Pan’, ‘The Lion King’, ‘Pocahontas’ and ‘The Little Mermaid’ are also in the works.