Every time Disney announces that it's going to remake one of its classic animated movies, fans have tons of questions about how the movie will turn out and whether or not it will pay appropriate homage to the original. Aladdin is no different. One concern for Disney diehards was whether or not the live-action Aladdin, announced in October, would have music. Luckily, director Guy Ritchie has thought long and hard about it and come to the right decision.
"It'd be tough not to make [Aladdin] a musical," he told Nerdist. Yes, yes it would. In fact, it would be like a whole new Disney world if we didn't get any songs. (See what I did there?) Although Ritchie added that he hasn't figured out "exactly which direction" the writing is going in, fans can only hope that they'll go the way of Beauty and the Beast — resurrecting the old faves.
In any case, Ritchie is "confident that at some stage it will reveal itself" to him, adding that it's a little too "premature." The director added that it's very much in early stages and that he's "just immersed" himself into the project and that he's still looking for a cast. Once he knows what kind of talent he's working with, then they can start to block out the musical numbers.
Even better news than the promise of there being lots of tunes in the live-action remake is that the cast will actually be Middle Eastern. According to the official casting announcement, there was a clear warning to prospective actors to not apply if they were white. "These characters are Middle Eastern," it read. Although Ritchie himself said that he's still looking for cast members, hopefully the casting directors will stick to their guns, because the world does not need another white actor playing characters of color, or any "whitewashing" at all.
The original Disney movies (and basically all movies) have enough cultural stereotypes and appropriation to make up for (and Disney knows it — look to the company's recent successes, Moana and The Princess and the Frog for proof that execs are trying to do good by the fans). The one very good thing about Disney remaking all of its movies is that there's an opportunity to finally portray characters and cultures respectfully — and thankfully, Aladdin already seems to be a win, in that sense.
Ritchie is smart to make sure to include music in his remake of Aladdin. When fans heard that the new live-action Mulan wouldn't include any music at all, they were a bit disappointed, though Director Niki Caro was quick to reassure them that the film would still be amazing. But it doesn't hurt that Aladdin will likely be appeasing fans' appetites for a few catchy tunes.