Disney decided to release the teaser for their Aladdin remake at 10pm during the Eagles-Giants football game on FOX. We’re not sure about those demographics, but Disney is one of the three richest corporations on the planet, so what do we know? The movie, which opens May 24 of next year, is the company’s latest live-action redo of one of their animated classics, this one bringing back their 1992 blockbuster, which featured the late Robin Williams motor-mouthing his way through the role of a blue genie who helps a street thief win the heart of a princess.
There was perhaps more anticipation than with most Disney reboots, though. Everyone had a basic idea of what their Beauty and the Beast redo from last year would look like. What about that thankfully non-white cast? How are they handling their Will Smith-voiced genie? How will they handle Iago, the talking parrot, originally voiced by Gilbert Gottfried?
For another, what on earth does an Aladdin directed by Guy Ritchie even look like? Guy Maddin — the guy who made Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels? And Snatch, the one with Brad Pitt as an indecipherable boxer? The director has proven he’ll play ball, but even his Sherlock Holmes two-fer and especially his Man from U.N.C.L.E. movie still have that Guy Ritchie edge. (And again: Please, Guy, make a sequel to that, and STAT.)
So what do we get? Not much! Lots of desert. A few CGI landscapes. A disappointingly small Cave of Wonders. And a brief shot of Mena Massoud’s Aladdin slowly grasping that magic lamp. All the while an orchestral version of “Arabian Nights” — the song whose initially racist lyrics had to be changed for its home video release — swells. But such is the nature of teasers.
Meanwhile, yesterday Will Smith posted the first poster for the remake on his Instagram account.
Guess what? It looks a lot like the some of the posters for the 1992 version.