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  • Writer's pictureSydney Chandler

FIRST LOOK - Aladdin

LOS ANGELES (TAC) - Here's a first look at Jasmine, Aladdin and the Genie in #Disney's new live-action film #Aladdin, with director Guy Ritchie at the helm. But if you know anything about Ritchie, a children's fairytale is not what comes to mind. He's known for violent, rip-roaring, explosive and gritty thrillers, with tons of car chases, guns, blood and explosions, as evidenced in his cult-classic films Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, RocknRolla and Snatch.

When speaking with #EntertainmentWeekly, Ritchie felt reconceiving Aladdin for live-action might be in his wheelhouse when the studio approached him in 2016. “My skills and experience could add enough to make it feel fresh and worth it, but not so much so that it would wash away nostalgia,” Ritchie tells EW. He adds that because he has five children, “making a kids’ film was very appealing to me.”

But what would any film be without controversy, especially one that is so universally beloved like Aladdin. It stars Will Smith as the Genie, Naomi Scott as Jasmine and Mena Massoud as Aladdin. First, people are up in arms on social media about Will Smith not being blue on the cover of EW. Calm down folks, Google and read the article. He will be blue, Smith’s version of the Genie in his blue floating lamp form, isn’t finished. So drop it down a few notches.

Secondly, people of color have accused Disney of White-washing the lead characters Jasmine and Aladdin. Also, "browning-up" other characters prominently featured in the film. Disney has defended their casting decisons, and said that this is one of the most diverse casts in their history. Ahem...well, someone on the set told #TheDailyMail that he saw brown make-up being applied on the White actors. There's a lot I could say about here, but I'll just leave you with this...Exodus: Gods and Kings, Ghost in a Shell, Prince of Persia, The Lone Ranger (Johnny Depp as Tonto was laughable), Aloha and this list could go on forever!

Aladdin is in theaters May 24, 2019.

SYDNEY CHANDLER is a Los Angeles based freelance journalist, essayist, screenwriter and producer. Sydney has written and produced documentaries, features, shorts, TV dramas and comedies. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to find out what’s going on in her ever-changing, globe-trotting world.

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