Disney is bringing in a whole new writing team to craft a sequel to Aladdin, last year’s hit live-action adaptation of the classic animated movie starring Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott and Will Smith as the Genie.
John Gatins (Flight) and Andrea Berloff (Straight Outta Compton) will collaborate on the screenplay. It took a little while for Aladdin producers Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich to settle on a direction for the sequel, and they took pitches from numerous writers before hiring veterans Gatins and Berloff to put their plans into motion.
What is unclear at the moment is whether director Guy Ritchie will return, though intuition suggests that he’ll hand over the reins of this franchise to someone else, just as he’s doing with Sherlock Holmes 3. I really liked Ritchie’s most recent film, The Gentlemen, and hope he’ll continue to crank out the British gangster movies that play to his strengths. Granted, I didn’t see Aladdin, and the film performed much better than I expected it would, taking in more than a billion dollars worldwide, but I don’t think anyone saw that film as a high point in Ritchie’s career.
Ryan Halprin will executive produce the Aladdin sequel, and while Variety says that cast offers won’t go out until the script is ready, it seems unfathomable to me that Disney wouldn’t have its three leads under contract for a sequel, which will be a theatrical release as opposed to a Disney+ title.
Gatins and Berloff each earned Oscar nominations, so they both have major chops. Gatins earned his for writing the Denzel Washington drama Flight, while Berloff earned hers for co-writing the acclaimed N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton.
Gatins most recently wrote Power Rangers for Lionsgate, while Berloff penned the Jamie Foxx thriller Sleepless before going on to write and direct last year’s crime movie The Kitchen starring Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss.