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Disney In Early Stages of Making a Live-Action Version of The Return of Jafar, Saints Preserve Us

What hath Will Smith wrought?

Will Smith as the Genie in live-action Aladdin.

Despite being, in my opinion, fine, the live-action Aladdin movie, like most of Disney’s remakes, was a huge box office success, making over a billion dollars and becoming the 5th-highest-grossing movie of this Disney-filled year. Because of that, it is highly possible that we are getting a remake of the Aladdin direct-to-video sequel Return of Jafar.

In an interview with SyFy Wire, producer Dan Lin said that they are in talks about making it, because at this point, what have they got to lose?

We’d love to. People clearly loved the movie and watched it multiple times and we get lots of fan letters and people asking us to make Return [of] Jafar, and I can just tell you that we’re in early stages right now, but we’re certainly talking about another movie. Like with Aladdin, it will not be a straight remake of any movie that’s been made before, so we’re looking at ‘where’s the best way to go with these characters.’

Genie Jaw Drop Gif Aladdin

Now, don’t get me wrong—I think the Aladdin sequels are actually classics in their own way, and I think they’re fun, despite being poorly animated in comparison to the original, but my lord, are we really going to be getting remakes of direct-to-DVD projects? To a degree, those movies are more of a risk than continuing on the route of just making lesser quality versions of movies people already like, but with good-ish casting. Where is the creativity in making those kinds of movies?

Speaking about animated classic The Iron Giant recently, director Brad Bird talked about the desire to see more creative endeavors from studios like Disney. Like them or not, these movies are not the best use of everyone’s creative energy, especially when the bar for these movies has been placed so low that the most uncreative projects can be heralded just for being … not awful. The only reason these stories are still being made is that they are moneymaking machines with even minimal effort.

At this point, Disney doesn’t need the money. They have dominated the box office entirely this year and for the past few years. That money should be invested in more creative projects with directors of color and women. So many of their best works, including The Lion King, came from a labor of love that was not expected to do well. If we are going to have this remake, the very least they can do is give this opportunity to an actually Middle Eastern director, or at the very least, a Southeast Asian director.

Now, what Disney needs to do is, on this upcoming Disney+ streaming app, release the Aladdin animated series, because if there’s any Aladdin-related content that we deserve, it’s that.

What live-action Disney sequel do you dread most?

(via SlashFilm, image: Disney)

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Princess (she/her-bisexual) is a Brooklyn born Megan Fox truther, who loves Sailor Moon, mythology, and diversity within sci-fi/fantasy. Still lives in Brooklyn with her over 500 Pokémon that she has Eevee trained into a mighty army. Team Zutara forever.