Fans of the original Aladdin might be thrilled about the upcoming live-action remake, but there’s one person who isn’t jumping up and down over the film. Terry Rossio was one of four writers on the 1992 Disney flick, who is noticeably perturbed about the new film, which isn’t paying respect to its original crew.
Terry decided to speak up in a series of tweets after the teaser trailer debuted earlier this week.
“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,” he commented after the trailer’s release.
After Terry’s tweets started gaining steam online, the writer began interacting with some of the comments from fans. When asked who owns the rights to the content within a film, Terry explained his situation with the original Aladdin.
“The studio owns the content on an animated feature. When the films were made, no one foresaw a live action remake so nothing was contracted. Disney has been approached many times for some kind of compensation fee (I asked for a Disney pass) but they answered no, zilch, nada,” he tweeted.
Several Twitter users began championing for Terry and other writers who are stuck in a similar situation. The Writer’s Guild of America would have to re-write some of their rules in order to reward writers like Terry when remakes pop up in the future. This is something many former Disney writers are dealing with since Disney has been rebooting many of its popular films like The Jungle Book, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and now Aladdin. Productions for The Little Mermaid and Lady and the Tramp are also in their early stages and will see issues for original writers as well.
Terry addressed the issue with the WGA, mentioning that the compensation for former writers had been addressed previously, but nothing came of the discussions.
“WGA has attempted to address this in the past, though [sic] collective bargaining, but in the end so-called ‘feature’ issues are usually abandoned. They have do have a *current* program where they attempt to get new animation contracts covered by WGA MBA guidelines,” Terry mentioned of the WGA.
The new live-action remake of Aladdin hits theaters on May 24, 2019. The film stars Will Smith, Naomi Scott, Mena Massoud, Marwan Kenzari, and Navid Negahban. It is directed by Guy Ritchie.