Aladdin sequel in the works at Disney

Disney executives are reportedly working on a sequel to the live-action version of Aladdin.Directed by Guy Ritchie, the adaptation of the studio’s 1992 animated movie of the same name followed street urchin Aladdin (Mena Massoud) as he falls in love wi…

Disney executives are reportedly working on a sequel to the live-action version of Aladdin.

Directed by Guy Ritchie, the adaptation of the studio’s 1992 animated movie of the same name followed street urchin Aladdin (Mena Massoud) as he falls in love with Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott) and befriends the wish-granting Genie (Will Smith).

While Aladdin received mixed reviews from critics when it premiered last May, it grossed $1 billion at the worldwide box office, and on Wednesday, editors at Variety reported that producers are in the “early” phases of developing a follow-up.

Sources claimed writers John Gatins and Andrea Berloff are involved, while executive producer Ryan Halprin and producers Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich are apparently also back on board for a second film.

At present, it is not known if Ritchie plans to return, though the producers are reportedly keen for the central cast members to reprise their roles.

And while the original animated Disney movie Aladdin had two straight-to-video sequels, it’s believed this movie won’t be based on any of those films.

The news comes after star Massoud admitted he was struggling to find his feet in Hollywood, despite receiving praise for his performance in the flick.

“I’m kind of tired of staying quiet about it,” the 28-year-old told The Daily Beast last year. “I want people to know that it’s not always dandelions and roses when you’re doing something like Aladdin: ‘He must have made millions. He must be getting all these offers.’ It’s none of those things. I haven’t had a single audition since Aladdin came out.”

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Will Smith voices support for ‘spectacular actor’ Mena Massoud

Will Smith has voiced his support for Mena Massoud after the actor claimed he was struggling to land auditions.The 28-year-old recently shared his dismay at his career issues and confessed he hadn’t had a single audition since playing the titular role …

Will Smith has voiced his support for Mena Massoud after the actor claimed he was struggling to land auditions.

The 28-year-old recently shared his dismay at his career issues and confessed he hadn’t had a single audition since playing the titular role in Disney’s live-action blockbuster Aladdin, which was released in May.

When quizzed about his former co-star’s comments, Will, who played the Genie in the movie, said he was unaware of Mena’s lack of work, but gave the Egypt-born Canadian some encouraging words of support.

“He is a spectacular actor and he has nothing to worry about,” the Oscar-nominated star told Variety while at the premiere of his new animated movie, Spies in Disguise.

Earlier this week, Mena told The Daily Beast that he was “tired” of following agents’ advice and pretending that he’s been hugely successful.

“I want people to know that it’s not always dandelions and roses when you’re doing something like Aladdin. ‘He must have made millions. He must be getting all these offers.’ It’s none of those things. I haven’t had a single audition since Aladdin came out,” he explained. “It’s wild to a lot of people… People have these ideas in their heads. It’s like, I’m sitting here being like, ‘OK, Aladdin just hit $1 billion. Can I at least get an audition?’ Like I’m not expecting you to be like, here’s Batman. But can I just get in the room? Like, can you just give me a chance? So, it’s not always what you think.”

Mena will next be seen in the Hulu series Reprisal.

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Mena Massoud hasn’t had an audition since Aladdin

Aladdin star Mena Massoud hasn’t had a single audition since the release of the hit Disney movie.The 28-year-old actor has spoken out about his career struggles, revealing he is “tired” of following agents’ advice and pretending that he’s been hugely s…

Aladdin star Mena Massoud hasn’t had a single audition since the release of the hit Disney movie.

The 28-year-old actor has spoken out about his career struggles, revealing he is “tired” of following agents’ advice and pretending that he’s been hugely successful since the live-action blockbuster, which was directed by Guy Ritchie.

“I’m kind of tired of staying quiet about it,” he told The Daily Beast. “I want people to know that it’s not always dandelions and roses when you’re doing something like Aladdin. ‘He must have made millions. He must be getting all these offers’. It’s none of those things. I haven’t had a single audition since Aladdin came out.

“It’s wild to a lot of people… People have these ideas in their head. It’s like, I’m sitting here being like, OK, Aladdin just hit $1 billion. Can I at least get an audition? Like I’m not expecting you to be like, here’s Batman. But can I just get in the room? Like, can you just give me a chance? So it’s not always what you think.”

The Egypt-born Canadian, who will next be seen in the Hulu series Reprisal, has been open about his struggles as an actor of colour, which led him to launch the Ethnically Diverse Artists Foundation to help under-represented artists in September.

“I feel like I’m going to be overlooked and underestimated for a long time because I am a young actor,” he added. “I’m an up-and-comer in the sense that I’ve been doing this for 10 years, but to a lot of people, Aladdin’s the first thing they’ve seen me in. So I think I’m going to be viewed that way for a long time. I’m going to have to work at chipping away at that.”

Aladdin, which was released in May, also starred Naomi Scott and Will Smith and has made more than $1 billion (£769 million) at the worldwide box office.

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Mena Massoud calls for more inclusivity in Hollywood

Mena Massoud has called on Hollywood leaders to make more films with people from minority groups.The Aladdin actor, who was born in Cairo, Egypt but moved to Toronto, Canada with his family when he was three, made the comments as he returned to his nat…

Mena Massoud has called on Hollywood leaders to make more films with people from minority groups.

The Aladdin actor, who was born in Cairo, Egypt but moved to Toronto, Canada with his family when he was three, made the comments as he returned to his native country to present an award at the El Gouna Film Festival.

In a speech, Massoud championed inclusion and diversity in film and television and urged his fellow actors to tell their stories through “the power of art”.

“As artists, we have an extraordinary and rare privilege to tell the stories of our people, our land, our culture. They grip us, tear us apart, and put us back together. We are our stories,” the 28-year-old shared, according to Variety. “When I was growing up (in Canada) I never really saw people that looked like me on the big screen, and that made me feel like I didn’t belong there, and there wasn’t room for my story.

“When we represent all cultures with sensitivity and truth, we foster a society that supports all people. When we uplift artists who reflect diverse perspectives their stories not only tell us how people view others, but how they view themselves.”

Massoud presented the film festival’s inaugural award for International Artist in Motion Pictures to Moroccan actress Nisrin Erradi, who starred in the critically-acclaimed film Adam.

And the Open Heart star was inspired by the movie, which follows the stories of three North African women.

“All at once it portrayed the grace and strength, the dedication, community, and vulnerability that women of this region embody, and reminded me of my mother and sisters and the love and assertiveness with which they raised me. This film makes me proud to say that I am the son of a North African woman,” he added.

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Disney considering live-action Aladdin sequel

Producers of Disney’s live-action Aladdin are “exploring” a possible sequel.The musical spectacle, directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Will Smith, Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott, was released back in May, and has made more than $1 billion (£827 million…

Producers of Disney’s live-action Aladdin are “exploring” a possible sequel.

The musical spectacle, directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Will Smith, Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott, was released back in May, and has made more than $1 billion (£827 million) at the worldwide box office.

Now, producer Dan Lin has revealed a possible reinterpretation of Aladdin’s original animated sequel, The Return of Jafar, could be on the cards.

“We certainly, when we first made the movie, wanted to just make the best movie we could and let audiences tell us if they wanted to see more. And I would say resoundingly audiences want to see more. They’ve watched this movie multiple times. We have lots of fan letters about people who really go back and they bring their friends and bring their family,” he told CBR.

“And so we feel like there’s more story to tell. We are going to treat it the same way we treat the original Aladdin movie and not going to do a shot by shot remake of anything that’s been done before. We’re really looking at what’s been done before in the past and the home video, and there’s just more story to tell with the underlying materials… So without giving away too much, we are certainly exploring where we can go with this franchise.”

Massoud, who played the title character in the live-action remake, previously told Collider he’d “absolutely” be onboard for a Return of Jafar adaptation.

The original Aladdin was released in 1992 and followed up with direct-to-video sequels, 1994’s The Return of Jafar and 1996’s Aladdin and the King of Thieves.

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Will Smith humbled by Aladdin’s box office success

Will Smith is “humbled and honoured” after his latest film Aladdin soared to the top of the North American box office over the Memorial Day weekend.The live-action remake of Disney’s famous 1992 animated classic took in $112.7 million (£88.6 million) …

Will Smith is “humbled and honoured” after his latest film Aladdin soared to the top of the North American box office over the Memorial Day weekend.

The live-action remake of Disney’s famous 1992 animated classic took in $112.7 million (£88.6 million) over the four-day weekend in the U.S., making it the fifth best Memorial Day weekend debut, ahead of 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, which hauled in $110.5 million (£87 million).

Only Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End made more for the studio over the same occasion.

The film, which globally made $207.1 (£163.4 million) on its opening weekend, is also director Guy Ritchie’s best opening and Will’s second best behind Suicide Squad.

“Thank You to Everybody who came out this weekend. #Aladdin. We LOVE this Movie! We are humbled & honoured that you are feeling the same,” Will, who stars as Genie, posted to his 32 million Instagram followers, next to a snap of him and Mena Massoud, who plays Aladdin.

Mena posted his own message, revealing his joy at working with Will and Guy.

Next to a black and white image of him grinning with the Hollywood pair, he wrote: “Grew up watching @willsmith. The boys & I would get together on holidays & put on a classic Smith flick – he always brought so much passion to whatever he did.

“And when I grew up, @guyritchie films became staples. The style, the colour, the innovation, the performances he brought to his projects were just so unique. It’s been an absolute dream working with these two gentlemen. As a young man in the industry, I couldn’t have asked for better mentors, inspirations & collaborators. Their talents are unparalleled & their hearts are made of gold. To Will & Guy: thank you for being diamonds in the rough.”

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Jada Pinkett Smith pays tribute to Genie with blue outfit at Aladdin premiere

Jada Pinkett Smith has paid homage to the Genie by wearing a blue outfit to the Los Angeles premiere of Aladdin.The actress stepped out at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on Tuesday night to support her husband Will Smith, who plays the famously br…

Jada Pinkett Smith has paid homage to the Genie by wearing a blue outfit to the Los Angeles premiere of Aladdin.

The actress stepped out at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on Tuesday night to support her husband Will Smith, who plays the famously bright blue wish-granting character in Disney’s live-action remake of the 1992 animated classic, which also stars Mena Massoud as Aladdin and Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine.

As she walked the purple carpet, Jada stopped to pose up a storm for photographers, and showed off her outfit, which consisted of cobalt blue satin trousers and a matching crop top dotted with silver beads and sequins.

Taking to Instagram, the star uploaded a snap of herself in the ensemble, along with the caption, “Arabian Nights,” and a blue heart emoji. She did not share details about the designer of her look. However, fans were quick to praise the 47-year-old for committing to the theme of the event.

One follower commented, “We can’t take anymore! The slay is overwhelming!” while another added, “Saaa- Moking!!!!!”

Meanwhile, Will opted for a black and silver suit for the premiere, while the 50-year-old actor’s children, Trey, 26, Jaden, 20, and 18-year-old Willow, also stood by him for the bash.

Other stars to make a sartorial splash included Naomi, who chose a gorgeous baby pink Brandon Maxwell gown, and Mena, who rocked a tweed suit from Givenchy.

New Girl actress Nasim Pedrad, who portrays Dalia in Aladdin, looked lovely in a black lace dress, and Jafar actor Marwan Kenzari sported a classic tuxedo.

Director Guy Ritchie turned up with his wife Jacqui Ainsley, while other celebrities in attendance included Shanina Shaik, Darren Criss, Helen Mirren, Terry Crews and Christina Milian.

Aladdin hits cinemas around the world from Wednesday.

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Naomi Scott: ‘Will Smith is the least disappointing superstar’

Naomi Scott is a big fan of her Aladdin co-star Will Smith, calling him the “least disappointing superstar” she’s ever met. The British actress plays Jasmine in the live-action version of Disney’s animated classic, and has now revealed that meeting t…

Naomi Scott is a big fan of her Aladdin co-star Will Smith, calling him the “least disappointing superstar” she’s ever met.

The British actress plays Jasmine in the live-action version of Disney’s animated classic, and has now revealed that meeting the Hollywood legend – who plays the wish-granting Genie – was exactly how she imagined it would be.

“He is the least disappointing superstar to ever meet,” she confessed during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Monday night. “I highly recommend meeting him.”

Naomi then managed to embarrass her older brother Joshua, as she told the audience that he owns a life-size cut-out figure of Will.

“He’s married and he still has it now,” the 26-year-old laughed.

While it’s a daunting prospect to take on the role of one of the most famous Disney princesses, Naomi also sweetly shared how she used to re-enact scenes from the movie when she was younger.

“Of course, I loved the movie growing up,” she explained. “Somehow I always got relegated to Abu, the monkey.”

And becoming a role model to millions of little girls around the world hasn’t fazed Naomi, but she was a little taken aback by their enthusiasm at a recent screening of the film.

“They attacked me and I was like, ‘Wow, that felt real,'” the star laughed.

Additionally, Naomi and the cast, including Aladdin actor Mena Massoud, worked extensively with sound engineer Simon Hayes to ensure they were able to sing live during filming.

“It was a great opportunity to sing live. Literally, I’m just singing a cappella on my own, on the set. The worst part is, you can’t really hear yourself,” she smiled.

Aladdin is released in the U.K. on 22 May and hits U.S. cinemas two days later.

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Naomi Scott ‘tricked’ Aladdin casting directors during audition

Naomi Scott tricked Aladdin casting directors into thinking she was more of a girly girl than she is.Newcomer Naomi beat out thousands of other hopefuls to land the part of Princess Jasmine in Guy Ritchie’s live-action version of the Disney classic, …

Naomi Scott tricked Aladdin casting directors into thinking she was more of a girly girl than she is.

Newcomer Naomi beat out thousands of other hopefuls to land the part of Princess Jasmine in Guy Ritchie’s live-action version of the Disney classic, with fans able to see her performance from 22 May (19).

Recalling her audition outfit in a chat with W magazine, the English star said she made the effort to look the part, before reverting back to her normal clothes as soon as she was cast.

“It was light blue,” she remembered of the floral Topshop dress she bought especially for the occasion. “I never wore it again.

“Cut to when I show up at the first rehearsal, and I’m wearing my Nike tracksuit. It was like, ‘This is the real me – haha, tricked you!’”

Also starring Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Billy Magnussen as Prince Anders and Will Smith as Genie, a part Robin Williams made famous in the much-loved 1992 animated flick, it marks the latest live-action remake for Disney.

As well as the classic story and songs, viewers will also be treated to a new plot line involving Jasmine standing up to baddie Jafar (Marwan Kenzari).

“It happened that Disney and Guy and the producers were all of the same mindset in terms of what they wanted for this character,” Naomi explained. “That really excited me and made me be like, ‘I’m-a get this role.’”

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Mena Massoud messed up first Will Smith meeting

New Aladdin actor Mena Massoud is convinced he was mistaken for an extra the first time he greeted co-star Will Smith because he failed to properly introduce himself. The Egyptian-born Canadian newcomer was thrilled to finally come face-to-face with W…

New Aladdin actor Mena Massoud is convinced he was mistaken for an extra the first time he greeted co-star Will Smith because he failed to properly introduce himself.

The Egyptian-born Canadian newcomer was thrilled to finally come face-to-face with Will as they prepared for the live-action Disney film, but in his nervous excitement, he ended up embarrassing himself.

“I was on set and it was still prep (in the preparation stage) so… I was in dance rehearsal and I was waiting for this day. I was like, ‘Oh, Will’s here, I gotta go up and say hi…,'” he recalled on U.S. show Live with Kelly and Ryan.

The Men In Black superstar had been in conversation with director Guy Ritchie when Mena strolled over.

“He (Will) was in the gym and he was talking to Guy Ritchie and I was like, ‘OK, Guy will help break the ice and I’ll just show up and say hi.’ So I went up, I was like, ‘Hey, hey Will. Hi!’

“He was like, ‘Hi!’ and I walked away like, ‘I did not tell him who I was…!’ He thought I was one of the dancers, I think, ’cause I was in my dance gear.”

Mena decided a redo was in order, and this time around, he was given a warm welcome by Will after realising the young actor was actually playing the titular character.

“I was like, ‘OK, I gotta go back,'” Mena shared, “and I was like, ‘Hey Will, it’s Mena,’ and he was like, ‘Oh, hey Mena, what’s up?’

“So I missed the boat on that one the first time. It’s Will Smith, you know?”

Smith portrays the Genie in the Aladdin revamp, alongside actress Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine.

The movie opens in theatres later this month (May19).

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