Disney took the wraps off its first teaser trailer for Aladdin on Thursday, and it looks spectacular. The live-action remake of the 1992 cartoon classic sees Mena Massoud in the titular role, with the short preview giving viewers a stunning sight of the fictional land of Agrabah.
The remake has generated significant hype, owing to the near-legendary status of the original as one of the biggest titles in the “Disney Renaissance.” Will Smith will have big shoes to fill as he takes on the role of Genie, a beloved character from the original owing to Robin Williams’ stellar performance. Naomi Scott, who played the Pink Ranger in last year’s *Power Rangers movie, is playing Princess Jasmine, daughter of the Sultan. Marwan Kenzari, who played Pierre Michel in last year’s Murder on the Orient Express, is taking on the role of antagonist Jafar. Disney also released a posted in the same week as the trailer:
The trailer release was met with an overwhelmingly positive reception, receieving over 20,000 Twitter likes and 13,000 retweets. A user called “ReplayReplayRe” replied to the trailer with “Aladdin just grabbing for the lamp…. Yoooo my 90s kid insides are screaming with joy!!” A Reddit user called “johnsbuffalo” summed up the depiction of Agrabah: “After watching this I know one thing for sure- this movie will have a lot of sand in it.”
The remake has been met with some controversy. The casting of Billy Magnussen, who plays a new character called Prince Anders, led to accusations of “whitewashing,” with some decrying the casting choice as an attempt to “shoehorn” in a white character into a film that takes the collection of Middle Eastern stories “One Thousand and One Nights” as its inspiration. Another extra told The Times that he had seen actors getting their skin darkened with makeup. Navid Negahban, who plays the Sultan, dismissed the idea that the film was being whitewashed, explaining that the movie is like a garden that “should be filled with flowers of different kinds.”
Expect more info on Aladdin prior to the film’s release on May 24, 2019.