Should We Expect the Worst from Guy Ritchie’s “Aladdin” Remake?

Matthew Loffhagen
(Photo: Disney)

So Guy Ritchie is making Disney’s live-action remake of the classic cartoon movie “Aladdin”.

This probably won’t go well.

Ritchie’s career has taken some hits over the past few years. Once a popular crime movie director, the creator of “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” has seen his star tarnish somewhat as he’s attempted to apply the same gritty vision to historical dramas.

People were more or less on-board with Ritchie’s “Sherlock Holmes” adaptation, which stars Robert Downey Jr as a somewhat more rough and ready bruiser of a Holmes than we’re all used to. The sequel was somewhat less well received, and did suggest that Ritchie might be running low on creative fuel.

Charlie Hunnam King Arthur
Source: Warner Bros

Last year’s “King Arthur” cemented this suspicion, as Ritchie’s version of the classic tale of swords and sorcery ended up flopping. Nobody was interested in seeing Charlie Hunnam and a bunch of grimy friends pal about in a medieval setting, and nobody was particularly surprised when this movie failed to set the box office alight.

Now, we’re getting “Aladdin” from the same creator, and if the creative team involved with this movie is smart, they’ll all start preparing for the worst right now.

Clearly, nobody has thoroughly warned Nevar Negahban, who’ll be playing the Sultan. Speaking in a recent interview, he had nothing but praise for the work that Ritchie has done on this movie:

“He’s very, very cautious. He wants to show the depth of each of these characters and the film itself will be a film that no matter how old you are, you’re going to enjoy it. It’s a fantastic team. Beautiful, beautiful team. I mean, you will see the costumes. Gorgeous! Unbelievable!”

Hmm. There’s definitely a disconnect between the way that Negahban describes Ritchie’s work here, and the director’s recent cinematic history.

Of course, most of Negahban’s vocal support is directed towards the costume department, but by this point we all know that pretty costumes will not save a bad movie.

Aladdin Sultan
Source: Disney

Maybe, if we’re lucky, Guy Ritchie will find some kind of second wind while working on this project. Perhaps the guiding hand of the mighty Mickey Mouse Empire will push him towards making creative decisions that feel fresh and innovative.

The writing does seem to be somewhat on the wall for Ritchie’s career, though. This director seems to be on the decline, and his latest movies, instead of being filled with downright outrageous and terrible decisions, instead simply feel tired and hollow.

If there’s one thing that won’t force Ritchie to innovate, it’s remaking a Nineties classic that will sell primarily based on nostalgia and brand appeal.

It’s probably worth assuming that Guy Ritchie’s “Aladdin” won’t be very entertaining – no matter how pretty the costumes are.

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