'Aladdin 2' in the Works, Will Smith and Other Stars Expected to Return

A sequel to Disney's live-action Aladdin is reportedly in the works, with the main cast expected to reprise their roles. So far, Will Smith, Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott have not officially signed contracts to return, but it is likely only a matter of time, according to The Hollywood Reporter. There is no word yet on what storyline the sequel might follow.

Disney is hoping to keep cashing in on its live-action remakes of animated classics. This week, THR reported that an Aladdin 2 is in development at the studio. The movie will be written by John Gatins and Andrea Berloff, both screenwriters with big hits in recent years.

Last year's Aladdin was directed by Guy Ritchie, who co-wrote the script with John August. Ritchie is reportedly signed on to return as director, but not writer this time.

Disney reportedly gathered a writer's room over the summer to pitch ideas for an Aladdin sequel after the box office success of the movie in May. Producers apparently looked deeper into One Thousand and One Nights, the collection of Middle Eastern folk tales that inspired the original Aladdin.

The report made no mention of the animated sequels to the original Aladdin back in the 1990s. The first movie got a theatrical release in 1992, and it was followed up by The Return of Jafar in 1994, then Aladdin and the King of Thieves in 1996. Both were released direct-to-video, and got poor critical receptions compared to the original.

Last year's live-action adaptation got mixed reviews as well. While it was an undeniable box office smash — raking in over $1 billion at the global box office — the movie has a 57% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics all seemed to agree that the movie lacked the whimsy of its original, and made perplexing changes to its plot.

Audiences were more forgiving, giving the film a 94% rating on the same site. This has been the case with several of Disney's live-action adaptations now, and the company seems intent on keeping the nostalgia market alive as long as possible.

Aladdin 2 will retain producers Dan Lin, Jonathan Eirich and Ryan Halprin, all of whom have had other hits since Aladdin last year. There is no release date in place for the movie yet, but it is likely behind Disney's other hotly-anticipated adaptations.

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The studio is working on live-action versions of Mulan, The Little Mermaid, Snow White, Peter Pan and The Sword in the Stone, among others at the moment. There are other spinoffs and sequels on the way as well, including a sequel to The Jungle Book and a fresh take on 101 Dalmations, centering around Cruella de Vil.

The next live-action Disney movie is Mulan, which hits theaters on March 27. Aladdin, its sequels and its live-action adaptation are all available on to stream on Disney+.