I think we can now say for sure that all of Disney’s classics are going to get live-action remakes sooner or later. Following news about live-action versions of Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King, news is getting out that Disney is making a live-action Mulan and has selected Guy Ritchie as director for Aladdin.
The Hollywood Reporter broke news of the Aladdin decision yesterday. Like with the announcement of Jon Favreau’s attachment to The Lion King, the news came without any mention of casting, although the report did have some interesting tidbits about the direction the movie might take. Although it will feature music from the original, similar to the other upcoming live-action remakes, it seems this Aladdin will be a little grittier, which I guess should be expected if Ritchie is involved. Ritchie initially was known for his work on Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch, both of which seem to be a little more action-oriented than Aladdin. Just a little. More recently, he directed the Sherlock Holmes films starring Robert Downey Jr.
In the report, it’s mentioned that Guy Ritchie’s penchant for non-linear storytelling will be applied to the Aladdin remake — I suppose that means we’ll start with Prince Ali before finding out how he got into this mess, but your guess is as good as mine. The report also notes that the creative team is still undecided on how they’ll approach Genie. It’d be hard enough to follow Robin Williams anyway, but it also seems like a comic character like Williams’s Genie wouldn’t be a good fit with this remake.
In addition to the Aladdin remake, a Mulan remake is also in the works. A brief controversy erupted after a leaked script indicated that the movie would follow a white man traveling to China and falling in love with Mulan, but Disney later stated that the script was purchased with the intent to make changes (or possibly head off a competing movie, as is happening with The Little Mermaid). Per a Vulture report, Disney stated that the film will feature an all-Chinese cast.