LEISURE Weekend Witness 21 May 25, 2019 and fun.” Both men shared the same vision for the Genie character. “The Genie is both a trickster and a mentor, and he is trying to guide Aladdin to the truth of the greatness that’s already within him,” said Smith, “and I love that idea … to be yourself. “For me, at this point in my life, I love playing a character that is trying to help a young boy become a man.” Smith added: “One of the major aspects was going from animation to live action and the idea of being able to pay homage to the original character and to honour Robin, while at the same time give a new voice to modernise the Genie … there was the potential to create something that did both of those things.” Loosely based on a Middle Eastern folk tale from Ritchie delivers a gritty, modern tale Aladdin in live action MENA Massoud, who plays the titular character in Disney’s live action version of heard that he had won the role while working on the set of Tom Clancy’s just three weeks before principal photography was scheduled to begin. The film-makers wanted an actor who could deliver an Aladdin who was charming and self-deprecating, and who audiences could root for. He also needed to be able to sing and dance and execute the substantial amount of stunt work the role required for the movie. The Egyptian-born actor, who was raised in Toronto Canada, said he was drawn to the role for a number of reasons. “Guy [Ritchie, the director] wanted to shoot the film in a very real, gritty, fantastical kind of way, while still focusing on the friendships and growth of the main characters,” Massoud said. “Guy has a very specific vision in his head of what he wants to do and how he wants to get to it, but he lets the actors play with it as well. “I really appreciated the fact that he trusted us to bring his vision to life, which is such an amazing responsibility to be given.” Aladdin’s journey of self-discovery is the backbone of the story. As someone who lost his parents at an early age and has been on his own for most of his life, he wants to find his place in the world. “He has big aspirations,” said Massoud. “He sees a future for himself that’s greater than what’s been set out for him at the present moment. He doesn’t know exactly what it is or how he’s going to get there, but he knows it is out there.” Massoud had to do a lot of physical training, vocal lessons, juggling lessons, dance training and dive training while the film was shooting. Even so, the film-makers were careful to not make Aladdin appear too slick or polished. “If every jump he makes is perfect, you stop liking the guy because all of a sudden he’s a little too perfect for who we think a street rat should be,” said Ritchie. “You need a few stumbles to make the audience feel like, ‘Okay, this guy is one of us.’” When it came to Jasmine, the Sultan’s beautiful and headstrong daughter, the film-makers wanted to create a more contemporary interpretation of a Disney princess. Ritchie said they auditioned a lot of women with magnificent voices who looked spectacular and had tremendous charisma, but it wasn’t until Naomi Scott walked into the room that they found their Jasmine. “There was something about Naomi and her enthusiasm and her boundless generosity of spirit,” said Ritchie. Scott, who starred in is a singer and actress of south Asian descent who grew up in London. She told that she had always related to Jasmine and was thrilled to have the chance to bring the princess to life on screen. Scott also, however, saw the princess as someone who yearns to lead the people of Agrabah and has an opinion and a perspective on how that should be done. “She’s a leader who wants to feel connected to the people of her kingdom and do right by them,” the actress said. “She’s not just fighting for her own choices, she’s fighting for the choices of others and she’s fighting to make other people’s lives better.” Producer Dan Lin said Scott is the perfect contemporary princess, adding: “She’s a very modern thinker who has strong opinions about some things but manages to balance that with a natural, warm demeanour and great sense of humour.” Like Aladdin, Jasmine can’t escape the life she was born into. “The Sultan is overprotective and wants to keep her in the palace and separated from everyone,” Scott said. Aladdin, Jack Ryan, One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, Aladdin is a timeless story, but Ritchie — the man behind films like and — wanted to give his version some fast-paced, gritty, visceral action. He also knew how to bring the character of Aladdin to life as many of his films feature incarnations of street culture and street hustlers, and the character of Aladdin is, at his essence, a thief struggling to survive. “I saw this as a sort of clash between two worlds. It’s a story about a street kid dealing with his insecurities in a Disney environment,” said Ritchie. “I like embarking on new, creative challenges, and this certainly was one.” — Weekend Witness Reporter. Sherlock Holmes, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels DID YOU KNOW? The ’992 WdimWted film AlWddid gheiied mehe thWd $502 millied Wt the glebWl ben effice, Wdd led te iucceiiful ititWge pheductiedi ed BheWdwWy Wdd WbheWd Wi well Wi W Nehth AmehicWd teuhidg cempWdy. Power Rangers, Weekend Witness WIN WITH ‘WEEKEND WITNESS’ THE Witdeii Wdd WWlt Diidey CempWdy Seuth AfhicW Whe effehidg heWdehi the chWdce te wid ede ef thhee encluiile hWmpehi ef AlWddid film mehchWddiie. Te edteh, iedd Wd e-mWil with the wehdi “ALADDIN” id the iubject lide te [email protected] befehe cleie ef buiideii (4.30 pm) ed MeddWy. Idclude yeuh full dWme Wdd telephede dumbeh. Edly ede edthy peh pehied will be cediidehed. Witdeii itWff Wdd theih immediWte fWmiliei Whe det eligible te edteh. If yeu hWle wed W phize id the pWit thhee medthi, yeu Whe det eligible te edteh the cempetitied. The judge’i deciiied ii fidWl Wdd de cehheipeddedce will be edtehed idte. The Witdeii’i itWddWhd tehmi Wdd cedditiedi Wpply. “Jasmine, however, wants to know what goes on in her kingdom and reconcile the distance that has been created, and Aladdin gives her the courage to do just that.” Probably the biggest challenge for the film-makers was finding the right actor to play the Genie of the Lamp because the bar had been set so high by Robin Williams in the animated original. So the question was “who could bring an energy that would feel akin to the spirit of the original yet be distinctly his own?”. Enter Will Smith, actor, producer, comedian and rapper, whose credits include and Independence Day. The Golden Globe and Oscar nominee, and Grammy Award winner liked the idea of reinventing the character and making it his own, but it wasn’t until he met Ritchie that the prospect became real. “Once we sat down and he explained that he wanted to make the story more authentic and put it in more of a realistic space and bring in occasional pop culture references, I was in,” said Smith. “Guy’s style is somewhere between action and music, and he wanted to concentrate on aspects of the characters that are different from what you would expect in a Disney film and are unique, clever Ali, Men in Black PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED BY PRESSREADER PressReader.com +1 604 278 4604 ORIGI NAL COPY . ORIGI NAL COPY . ORIGI NAL COPY . ORIGI NAL COPY . ORIGI NAL COPY . ORIGI NAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW
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