'Aladdin' Director Guy Ritchie Details the New Film's Approach to Songs From the Original

The full-length trailer for Disney's live-action Aladdin finally arrived online Tuesday morning, and it brought with it a taste of some iconic Disney tunes. Pieces of original Aladdin songs "Friend Like Me," and "A Whole New World" could be heard in the new trailer, reminding fans how much they love the original tale.

Fortunately, while the new film is an updated take on the classic movie, director Guy Ritchie didn't want to completely abandon the music that worked so well the first time around. During an interview with EW, he explained that those original songs aren't just trailer teases, but will "part of the DNA" of his new movie.

“Clearly people are very attached to the original songs and clearly that’s part of the DNA, so we didn’t really want to stray from the original stuff, just an embellishment with a couple of new tracks,” Ritchie said.

Will Smith, who takes over the role of Genie for the late Robin Williams, poured himself into the beloved "Friend Like Me" number. In fact, Smith had started recording the song before he even accepted the part.

"[It] fit so perfectly that we all really got inspired about the idea of me being Genie after listening to two hours’ of work in the studio with no preparation," Smith told EW. “I started to feel confident that I could deliver something that was an homage to Robin Williams but was musically different, and just the flavor of the character would be different enough and unique enough that it would be in a different lane versus trying to compete.”

In addition to the revamping of original songs, Disney's live-action Aladdin will also deliver a couple of new musical numbers, written by La La Land songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. According to Ritchie, these new songs are meant to help update the movie for audiences in 2019.

"We’re 26 years later, the world moves on, so there is a shift, which is just an unavoidable aspect of time,” he said. “But essentially the soundtrack’s the same, just somewhat embellished with a couple of new tunes in it.”

“The song that Jasmine sings connects to everything about her arc, about her finding her voice,” added star Naomi Scott. “That’s what that song is about, it’s about not being shut down but being able to speak out."

Are you looking forward to the live-action Aladdin? What did you think of the original songs in the trailer? Let us know in the comments!

Disney's Aladdin hits theaters on May 24th.

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