Sunday, 30 November 2014

Shawn Levy set for Ali Baba And The Forty Thieves

With a close eye on the likes of Walt Disney Pictures' Alice In Wonderland (2010), Oz The Great And Powerful (2013) and this years Maleficent, 20th Century Fox are now getting into the big budget fairy tale game. News arrives via Variety that the studio is putting together a new take on Ali Baba And The Forty Thieves and Jayson Rothwell (Silent Night) has already written the screenplay, with Shawn Levy (Real Steel) set to direct.

The original Ali Baba comes from The Thousand And One Nights. It tells of the poor woodcutter who learns the words "Open Sesame" and gains accidental entry to a cave containing the secret stash of a large gang of robbers. The forty fiends then set off in pursuit of Ali, who has to use his wits to survive.

As is often the case with these things, the story in its pure form is often eye-wideningly violent. Fox's version, however, planned as a "four quadrant tentpole", will be "an adventure with strong comedic undertones". So we should probably not expect the boiling oil or the quartering.

Levy is currently in post-production on Night At The Museum: The Secret Of The Tomb, which is out on 19 December. He also has several other projects in development – including the Minecraft movie – either as a director or producer, so whether Ali Baba is up next remains to be seen. As always, watch this space.

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