Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice did some outstanding music for 1992’s animated Aladdin including hits like “One Jump Ahead”, “Friend Like Me”, “Prince Ali”, and “A Whole New World.” Now Guy Ritchie is adapting the animated classic into a live-action feature, and while it will retain the songs from the original, Menken and La La Land songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are adding a few new tunes to the lineup.
Speaking to Variety, Pasek and Paul revealed what they’ve added to the movie:
“We got to write a new song for Jasmine,” Paul tells Variety. “Alan wrote a beautiful piece of music and [Scott] is incredible.”
They also wrote a duet for Aladdin and Jasmine. “It’s a sweet song,” Paul said.
They even got to write a new verse for the original film’s “Arabian Nights.”
On the one hand, I’m glad that Jasmine gets her own song, and hopefully it will be as good as the ones that Aladdin and the Genie get. On the other hand, it takes some serious stones to think, “You know, ‘A Whole New World’ is a classic, but let’s see if we can give them another duet that’s just as good.” To Pasek and Paul’s credit, they know how to write catchy, fun tunes, so it will still probably be fine.
The additions of new songs shouldn’t be too surprising when you consider that the same was done with the live-action Beauty and the Beast, and while none of the new additions were particularly memorable, they didn’t exactly hurt the movie at the box office.
Aladdin opens May 24, 2019 and stars Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Jasmine, Will Smith as the Genie, Marwan Kenzari as Jafar, Navid Negahban as the Sultan, Nasim Pedrad as Jasmine’s handmaiden, Billy Magnussen as a potential suitor for the Princess, and Numan Acar as Jafar’s right-hand man.