So, Aladdin opened this weekend. It’s the #1 movie in the world, and audiences seem to love it. I share writing credit, which surprises many people because I barely talk about it. Here’s the deal.
In September 2015, I was meeting with producers about a different project when they mentioned they were talking with Disney about doing a live-action version of Aladdin, following upon the success of Cinderella. On the spot, I pitched my take. The next week, I went in to pitch at Disney complete with art boards that cribbed heavily from Game of Thrones. It was a charmed process through multiple drafts.
And then it wasn’t.
From 2017 on, my relationship with the movie was me giving notes on cuts. It was frustrating to have my name on something I had no control over, so I didn’t talk about it much, and didn’t do any press.
Here’s the happy news: The movie that came out this week? I honestly like it a lot. It’s goofy and big-hearted in ways I’d feared would be lost. I’m glad that so many people around the world are digging it.
Every screenwriter mourns the movie that existed only in their mind, but in this case I’m really happy with the finished film as well. That doesn’t always happen. So I’m glad my wish came true.