Disney appears to have found the next director that will bring one of its animated classics to life. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney is close to locking in Guy Ritchie to helm its upcoming live action version of “Aladdin.”
The project is being described as a “non-traditional” take on the classic Middle Eastern-set folk tale, which includes the studio’s aim to have the storytelling be non-linear. Ritchie — who most recently directed “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” and the two Robert Downey Jr.-led “Sherlock Holmes” movies — also directed the non-linear “Snatch” and “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.” Ritchie is currently in post-production on another adaptation, “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” for Warner Bros.
“Aladdin” is one of the most popular stories in Disney’s vault and was the highest-grossing film in 1992. The animated fable about a young man who is granted three wishes by a magical genie was part of the Disney Renaissance era during the 1990s, along with other classics “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Lion King.” “Aladdin” was followed by two sequels and has been turned into a Broadway play.
Lately, Disney has looked to mimic that era with live-action re-tellings of those stories in addition to other animated classics. Following the success of this year’s “The Jungle Book,” Disney is in various stages of production on live-action versions of “Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Mulan.” Earlier this month, Disney added a live-action “Lion King” to its slate with “Jungle Book” director Jon Favreau on board.
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