'Aladdin' Live-Action Movie Gets New Original Songs from 'La La Land' Songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Pau

Aladdin isn’t just getting the live-action treatment—the Disney classic is getting a musical upgrade as well.

The new movie, directed by Guy Ritchie and due in theaters in 2019, is based on the classic 1992 animated musical and will include fan favorites numbers like “A Whole New World.” But the studio has enlisted the services of award-winning songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Pau, the guys responsible for the tunes in La La Land and Broadway's Dear Evan Hansen, to create two new original songs for the film.

Pasek and Pau were all smiles at the 2018 Academy Awards on Sunday while sharing details on their latest gig. They also dropped another tidbit about the new film: they're working with renowned composer Alan Menken, who wrote Aladdin’s “Friend Like Me,” “Arabian Nights” and “One Jump Ahead," as well as songs for other Disney classics like The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast.

“We’re really thrilled that we got to collab with one of our heroes, Alan Menken. And we collaborated with him and wrote the lyrics for two new songs for Aladdin that’s coming out next year,” Pasek told to Variety. “Just being in the studio with him and being able to suck him dry for all the stories he would tell us and pick his brain... We probably delayed work for like several weeks just being like, ‘Tell us about Ariel. Tell us about Ursula.’”

Pasek and Pau were nominated for a Best Original Song Oscar on Sunday for “This is Me” from the film The Greatest Showman. They lost to Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, who wrote Coco’s “Remember Me,” but don't feel too bad. The duo won an Academy Award last year (along with Justin Hurwitz) for the La La Land song "City of Stars." They're also well on their way to EGOT status—that is, winners of an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony—winning a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album for Dear Evan Hansen, the musical which also nabbed them a Tony.

Although fans still have a year and some change before they ever hear their new Aladdin songs, the adaptation is, at least, in post-production. Filming for the movie, featuring newcomer Mena Massoud as the lovable street rat Aladdin, wrapped in early January. It also stars Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine and Will Smith as the hilarious, blue-hued Genie (originally voiced by Robin Williams). It's set to premiere in theaters on May 24, 2019.

Join the Discussion