The 2019 summer movie season could prove to be the greatest run of blockbusters in movie history. That’s partly due to Disney’s ambitious attempts at remaking its animation classics in live-action, one of which is Aladdin. As we recently noted when discussing Hollywood’s reboot culture, there are occasionally instances in which a modern touch-up—complete with an updated sensibility—can do a movie some good. By all accounts, that’s the approach being taken with Jasmine, who is being elevated from an outdated damsel-in-distress Disney Princess to a three dimensional character under star Naomi Scott’s watch.
Recently, Scott—who American audiences might know from 2017’s Power Rangers—spoke to Entertainment Weekly about her character’s goals and strengths in the upcoming film.
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“I love that in this movie, Jasmine’s main objective at the beginning of the movie is really to protect her people, to do right by them, and she’s a bad-arse, but it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t get upset when she thinks Aladdin screws up,” Scott explained. “She definitely isn’t a finished article at the beginning of the movie, but she has this beautiful arc and progression, and she goes from asking for what she wants to really just taking it, and displaying that she is a leader, and that’s what I loved the most: Taking something and actually creating something with so much more depth was the most fun and the biggest honor for me, but I’m surrounded by amazing women that I can take inspiration from.”
The characterization of Jasmine in the original has rightly been criticized for its depiction of female subservience. After all, she’s the one who belongs to the royal family, not Aladdin. But director Guy Ritchie is making attempts to course-correct this time around and that includes giving Jasmine a brand new solo song.
“The song that Jasmine sings connects to everything about her arc, about her finding her voice,” Scott said. “That’s what that song is about, it’s about not being shut down but being able to speak out, which I would say resonates. The other song is a lovely lullaby song, which comes more at the beginning of the movie.”
If it’s even half as good as “A Whole New World,” audiences will surely be enthralled.
Aladdin will fly into in theaters on its magic carpet on May 24, 2019.