That Walt Disney Pictures would plan a live action take on their 1992 animated classic Aladdin came as no great surprise, since the Mouse House have been slowly working on drawing from its animated back catalogue for new versions. But their choice of shot caller may raise a few eyebrows, with news arriving via Deadline that Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows) is in talks to direct.
When it was first reported, the plan for Aladdin was to focus first on a prequel explaining how the chatty powerful genie (famously voiced by Robin Williams) got into the lamp in the first place. That script had Damien Shannon and Mark Swift (Friday The 13th) at work on it, but Deadline's update of the movie's status mentions John August (Big Fish) as responsible for the current draft, so it may have crept closer to being a straightforward re-working of the main Aladdin tale.
Ritchie certainly seems an unusual choice for the material, though he has dabbled in magic and mystery with the Sherlock Holmes films and his latest, King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword, is more of an adventure tale, so perhaps he is trying to stretch himself. The Arthurian movie is set to arrive on 24 March.