Disney dropped an extended sneak peek of Aladdin earlier this evening, giving fans their first solid look at the live-action remake of the animated classic. Along with the first official look of Will Smith's blue-skinned Genie, the sneak peek also happened to feature the first look at Princess Jasmine's (Naomi Scott) pet tiger Rajah.
Serving as Jasmine's primary friend and protector around the palace, initial reports hinted that the likes of Rajah, Abu, and Iyago wouldn't appear. Thankfully, this sneak peek certainly confirms their involvement.
Initially, Rajah was reportedly replaced by Dalia, a handmaiden character played by Nasim Pedrad. Scott previously discussed how the introduction was important after the animated version of the movie featured Jasmine the lone female character in a major role.
“I never realized it, but in the animation, Jasmine is really the only female character — isn’t that crazy?” Scott said. “The Dalia character is so important to this movie because she’s the only other female character. She may be the handmaiden but they’re best friends; they’re so close because they’ve grown up together. So we wanted people to watch the movie and see Jasmine’s relationship with another woman, and be like, ‘Ah, that’s what I’m like with my girlfriend,’ or ‘We would so do that if I was in that position.’ That’s something that’s missing from the animation.”
The Power Rangers star teased in a different interview how they've changed Jasmine to make the character mesh with modern times.
“There are so many amazing new things about the character in this adaptation — I could literally go on for an hour! Everyone involved in this project
“[She] can be strong and have fun, but also get it wrong and be emotional. She’s a multidimensional woman, and she doesn’t have to just be one thing,” she continued. “So in this movie, you see her go on such a roller coaster, as opposed to her one goal being to fall in love or get married.”
Guy Ritchie directs the new Aladdin movie on a script he wrote alongside Vanessa Taylor and John August. The film stars Mena Massoud (Aladdin), Naomi Scott (Jasmine), Will Smith (the Genie), Billy Magnussen (Prince Anders), Nasim Pedrad (Dalia), Marwan Kenzari (Jafar), Numan Acar (Hakim), and Navid Negahban (Sultan).0comments
Aladdin hits theaters on May 24th.
Were you excited the see the live-action debut of Rajah in the latest Aladdin sneak peek? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!