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Aladdin 2: Will the live-action sequel ever happen?

With Disney's film schedule filled with live-action takes on old classics, it's easy to see why fans are wondering if the House of Mouse will keep its cash-collecting train rolling with not only more reimaginings but also remakes of animated sequels. This is the question moviegoers have been asking themselves (and shouting into the open void that is the internet) in the aftermath of Disney's most recent movie refresh: will a second live-action Aladdin film ever happen?

Chances are high, it seems, as various outlets have reported that Disney is indeed looking to make a live-action Aladdin sequel.

In mid-July 2019, less than a month after the May 24 release of the live-action Aladdin, the folks at We Got This Covered cited sources close to the Mouse House that Walt Disney Pictures executives are already actively developing Aladdin 2. The majority of the film's cast — which includes Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine, Will Smith as Genie, and Marwan Kenzari as Jafar — is expected to reprise their roles for the project, which is said to be in the "earliest stages of development." Guy Ritchie, the Sherlock Holmes and Man from U.N.C.L.E. filmmaker who directed the live-action Aladdin, could get back behind the helm for the sequel, but that's up in the air for the time being. 

What appears to be clear is that the live-action sequel will closely follow story of its animated counterpart, The Return of Jafar. A direct-to-video follow-up that never saw the silver screen in a theatrical launch, The Return of Jafar released in 1994, two years after the debut of its predecessor. The film picked up a year after the events of the original, seeing Aladdin (voiced by Scott Weinger) and his pet monkey Abu living happily in the Agrabah Palace with Jasmine (Linda Larkin) and the Sultan (Val Bettin). Always searching for a thrill, Aladdin ends up crossing paths with Abis Mal (Jason Alexander), the leader of a criminal gang who attacks the former street rat before Iago (Gilbert Gottfried), Jafar's parrot who escaped from his lamp, saves Aladdin from harm. Abis Mal ends up finding the lamp in which Jafar (Jonathan Freeman) is still stuck, and unleashes him. Being the dastardly villain he is, Jafar manipulates Abis Mal into squandering two of his three wishes, then forcing him to help exact his revenge on Aladdin, who trapped him in the lamp at the end of the first film.

The Return of Jafar was panned by critics and fans, though it managed to become one of the top-earning home video releases of all time, grossing nearly $300 million worldwide. If Disney truly is planning to use the Return of Jafar plot for its live-action Aladdin sequel, the studio would be wise to take some serious creative liberties and improve the story, lest the execs want to get smacked with a wave of negative reviews. There's no doubt that Disney would take home a ton of money with a live-action Aladdin 2, but audience reception should be a main concern as well. 

For now, it looks like the Aladdin sequel is underway. Fans will have to wait for an official announcement — plus confirmation about the film's story, characters, release date, and more — before they get too excited about flying off to a whole new world for a second time.