Considering it brought in over $1 billion in revenue following its release, it’s no surprise really that Disney want to jump straight back in and make a sequel to the live-action Aladdin remake.
According to Variety, the studio is keen to jump on the momentum of the first film, however it will not be a version of Return Of Jafar, and instead Disney has spent the last six months coming up with an entirely new storyline.
Director Guy Ritchie and stars Will Smith, Mena Massoud, and Naomi Scott are not contracted to return for any such Aladdin 2, although the belief is that the powers-that-be at Disney are keen for all four to be a part of this sequel.
Sitting pretty alongside the likes of The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and Hercules, Aladdin has cemented itself as part of Disney’s Renaissance.
It’s been a long time since we first flew on that magic carpet for a thrilling Arabian night, but a new theory has just emerged that changes 1992’s Aladdin forever. Before Will Smith was painting himself like a member of The Blue Man Group, everyone remembers Robin Williams’ iconic performance as Genie.
Although a pretty public fallout with the studio led to Williams sitting out The Return of Jafar, he got a hefty pay rise and returned in Aladdin and the King of Thieves. It now turns out that the star’s role could’ve influenced the entirefranchise.
According to a deep-dive Reddit post, Genie’s role in Aladdin directly ties into the events of 1996’s Aladdin and the King of Thieves. Redditor Phyrandria points to Aladdin’s original wish that he could be a prince. With some of Genie’s signature trickery, we saw Prince Ali riding into Agrabah atop an elephant, adorned in fancy robes, and with a whole court of followers.
The thing is, King of Thieves reveals Aladdin already was (technically) a prince. When Al crossed paths with the legendary Forty Thieves, he also met their leader — who just so happened to be his father. While Cassim might’ve seemed like a bit of a jerk for abandoning his son to a life of poverty while he lords it up as a king, the theory suggests this wasn’t the case.
What if Aladdin’s wish to become a prince also altered everyone’s backstory and actually brought Cassim into his role as the King of Thieves? Even if the theory makes Genie even better at his job and gives everyone a happier ending, there’s no escaping the mixed response King of Thieves received when it was released.
Unlike the box office success of Aladdin, Aladdin and the King of Thieves treads into that diabolical Disney territory where the studio milked forgotten movies for all the sequels it could. Just like The Hunchback of Notre Dame II, Beauty and the Beast: Belle’s Magical World, and The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea, King of Thieves was a poor direct-to-video animation that currently sits at 27% on Rotten Tomatoes.
To be honest, I doubt the writers even thought that someone would be coming up with Reddit theories 23 years after King of Thieves faded into the depths of maligned Disney movies. Still, it’s a nice idea that the lacklustre sequel can somehow ride the success of the original. Who knows, maybe Disney’s upcoming live-action movie could tie it all together and bring Aladdin’s dad into the story?
[Featured Image: Disney]