Disney fans across the world might be filled with anticipation after watching the new trailer for the live-action Aladdin remake, but not everyone is thrilled. After watching the trailer, one of the original co-writers of the animated film, Terry Rossio, has taken to Twitter to voice his concerns. Noticing something about the trailer that seemed all too familiar for the screenwriter, Rossio couldn’t help but feel slighted about the fact that Disney couldn’t so much as offer him access into one of their theme parks.
“So strange that literally the only words spoken in the new Aladdin trailer happens to be a rhyme that my writing partner and I wrote, and Disney offers zero compensation to us (or to any screenwriters on any of these live-action re-makes) not even a t-shirt or a pass to the park.”
What many of us already know about the upcoming remake is that it will remain very faithful to the animated version, albeit with an all new visual style. As Rossio’s post suggests, a lot of the same dialogue will even be used for the film, word for word. Considering the mountains of money this film is guaranteed to make, it’s understandable why it would sting a little for the original writers to hear the words they’ve written themselves used for the film, knowing they won’t even get a gift card or a Mickey Mouse keychain in return.
For the 1992 classic, Terry Rossio is credited as having co-written the film, along with constant collaborator Ted Elliot and directors John Musker and Ron Clements. Concerning the 2019 remake, only John August and director Guy Ritchie are credited with writing the screenplay. With Rossio noticing that the only spoken dialogue in the trailer is something he wrote personally with Elliot, it’s easy to see why he’s feeling burned. To pour salt in the wound, Rossio also revealed he genuinely did ask Disney for tickets to one of their parks, but wasn’t granted this simpler request either.
So, if Disney is using the work of these screenwriters without giving them any due compensation, how are they getting away with it? Apparently, that’s largely because animated movies aren’t covered by the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA). Legally, Disney isn’t required to pay the original writers anything, as they’re only bound by the stipulations of the contract of the original film. Because nobody at the time could fathom a live-action remake one day being made, there was obviously no provision about that anywhere in the contract, leaving Rossio and the others out in the cold.
The Aladdin cast includes Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine, and Will Smith as Genie. Balancing out the cast is Marwan Kenzari, Navid Negahban, Nasim Pedrad, Billy Magnussen, Numan Acar, and Frank Welker. The live-action film comes out in theaters on May 24, 2019. You can take a look at Rossio’s tweet below. This information comes to us from CinemaBlend.
So strange that literally the only words spoken in the new Aladdin trailer happens to be a rhyme that my writing partner and I wrote, and Disney offers zero compensation to us (or to any screenwriters on any of these live-action re-makes) not even a t-shirt or a pass to the park.
— Terry Rossio (@TerryRossio) October 12, 2018