The 2019 live-action Aladdin — you know, the one with Blue Will Smith Genie and Naomi Scott’s power ballad about being a girl boss — is getting a live-action sequel, Variety reported late Wednesday. Writers John Gatins (Flight) and Andrea Berloff (Straight Outta Compton) will pen the screenplay, but will not lift from either of Aladdin’s two direct-to-video sequels, Return of Jafar and Aladdin and the King of Thieves. That’s all fine and good, except Disney is really missing out on a big opportunity to bring the hottest animated character in its roster to live action.
Basically, what I’m saying is: Give me live-action Aladdin’s Hot Dad, Disney.
Of the two Aladdin direct-to-VHS sequels, King of Thieves is by far the superior one (yes, I have the authority to say this). Not only does it explore the mythos of Agrabah and surrounding lands and expand upon Aladdin’s struggles in his new royal role, it also has Cassim, aka Aladdin’s Hot Dad, who is the titular King of Thieves.
Now, Aladdin is a certified Disney hunk. Cassim is all the good things about Aladdin, but aged like fine wine. He has the floppy dark hair, but tinged with gray like a silver fox. He has killer facial hair, a more confident air about him, and a rich voice like deep velvet (he’s voiced by John Rhys-Davies, the man behind Gimli and Treebeard from Lord of the Rings).
Aladdin was a lovable rogue with a heart of gold, but while he was a street rat, he hadn't really proved his prowess in the art of thievery. And even though he struggled with feelings of inadequacy, his angst was YA entry-level. Cassim, however, is not just a rogue with a heart of gold — he also is demonstrably the best thief in all the land and harbors angst and deep regret. He left his wife and baby Aladdin in order to be a thief, but he did it because he was after a specific treasure so that he could provide for his family. Depth! The pressure to be a good father but lacking the resources to do so! The lure of adventure versus the safety of domesticity! This is a man with complexity.
Aside from the fact that the new sequel will not be based on the old movies, Variety’s report does not contain any plot details. The live-action Aladdin sequel doesn’t have to draw explicitly from the plot of King of Thieves, but the 2019 Aladdin already gave us Hot Jafar, so why not give us Aladdin’s Hot Dad as well? The storyline can be adjusted, though seeing the incredible set pieces of the 40 thieves’ den and the giant floating turtle island would be pretty sweet. Heck, a whole adventure across the land, searching for treasure, would be pretty sweet.
If there’s one thing King of Thieves lacked, it was the animation budget of the original film. The setup for splendor is all there, but maybe this time with a big live-action budget (the 2019 remake cost $183 million to make), the world beyond the walls of Agrabah will get full justice — and so will the hottest Disney man out there.