This is something that a lot of people should have been able to see coming since not only does Disney tend to take a while with sequels, unless they happen to be important to mainline for the sake of keeping the story on track, but Aladdin and Aladdin 2 did differ a bit in animated form. If the sequel is anything like the direct-to-video animated version, The Return of Jafar, then adapting the script won’t be a huge issue. Instead, it’s likely that working around the busy schedules of the actors will be one factor, as will the reality that Disney has a lot of projects going on at the moment. With so much already on the docket, it’s fair to state that Disney might not be looking at the Aladdin sequel with as much attention as it’s currently giving other movies and shows at the moment. There’s no doubt that it’s coming as this has been maintained as a persistent rumor that has turned into fact, but if we see the next Aladdin movie in the next 2 to 3 years it wouldn’t be too much of a surprise.
For those that don’t remember the animated sequel, it dealt with the return of the main antagonist, Jafar, after an unwitting thief discovered the dark lamp with Jafar and Iago trapped inside. While the first movie differed in a big way from the animated version in several ways, it’s easy to believe that the second movie will be the same in this regard since the voice of Iago, played by Gilbert Gottfried in the animated movies, was notoriously absent in the live-action version, which no doubt upset some fans and didn’t bother others since the parrot being represented in a realistic fashion definitely changed things a bit. The truth is that Iago did play a pretty substantial role in the Aladdin movies since his general attitude and angry, obnoxious voice made him the favorite of some fans and the bane of others.
But that’s where the second movie might actually differ a bit since Iago took on an even bigger role in the animated sequel given that at one point he had a song all to himself that celebrated his independence from Jafar after he escaped the lamp and became fed up with the former vizier’s constant verbal abuse. Iago would also go on to save Aladdin’s life at one point since the newly appointed royal couldn’t help but go back to the streets now and again to practice his old habits, which put him in contact with the secondary antagonist in the movie, the character voiced by Jason Alexander named Abis Mal, which is a clever play on words since the character is a rather horrible thief as well as a loudmouth that doesn’t know when to shut up. But Jason played the part well and was accompanied by several great voice actors, along with Dan Castellaneta, who took over Robin William’s character of the Genie. Williams would return for the third Aladdin movie, which kind of begs the question as to whether or not this could be the direction that Disney might be headed.
That might be kind of interesting if such a thing does happen since the third movie introduced Aladdin’s father and a big reason why thieving comes so easy to the former street urchin. Cassim, voiced by John Rhys-Davis, could be an interesting character to cast since he was the leader of the Forty Thieves and essentially went off to find an artifact that could help to keep his family off the streets. But getting back to the first sequel, it’s fair to say that it could be an extremely CGI-heavy affair since the animated version had a showdown between Jafar and Genie, who did not lose his powers after he was freed. That fact alone could be kind of interesting to contemplate since there was no indication that Will Smith’s version had retained his power after his bonds had been severed. For the sake of the story, however, it might be something that needs to happen simply due to the fact that a magical being such as Jafar would require that someone on the side of the protagonist would need to have some sort of special ability to help out.
Plus, the second movie finally saw the destruction of Jafar, so keeping things as close to the animated version while still going for realism might be the trick. The fact that Guy Ritchie is directing once again should be a sign that things will end up being handled in a manner that will wow the audience again. The truth is that The Return of Jafar, in animated form, didn’t really impress a lot of people is hard to deny, but following on the heels of a successful live-action outing, it’s hopeful that this coming version could be far superior to the animated movie. But it is going to take a while.