When news broke that Benj Pasek and Justin Paul would be teaming up with iconic Disney songwriter Alan Menken for the upcoming live-action Aladdin it was the perfect fit! The uber-talented songwriting duo are the musical geniuses behind the award-winning soundtracks for La La Land, Dear Evan Hansen, and The Greatest Showman after all. While Disney’s animated version of Aladdin had a fantastic soundtrack, the two recently spoke with Variety to reveal what new bops fans can expect in the Will Smith led remake.
[row]“We got to write a new song for Jasmine. Alan wrote a beautiful piece of music and [Jasmine’s Naomi Scott] is incredible,” Paul said. [/row]
The duo also got to write an all-new duet for Aladdin and Jasmine! While it may seem impossible to beat “A Whole New World” we can’t think of anyone better for the job.
[row]“It’s a sweet song,” Paul said.[/row]
Pasek and Paul also got to lend their hand to one of the original film’s songs “Arabian Nights,” which they were able to write a new verse for. The two had hinted at the songs back at the 90th Annual Academy Awards back in February, but now we know just who those two songs were for.
[row]“We’re really thrilled that we got to collaborate with one of our heroes Alan Menken. We collaborated with him and wrote the lyrics for two new songs for Aladdin that’s coming out next year. … We’re really excited for that and really thrilled to be a part of the Disney family, they revealed on the red carpet.”[/row]
Alan Menken has won eight Oscars for his music, which includes 2 wins for 1992’s Aladdin. Pasek and Paul won the Oscar in 2017 for La La Land’s “City of Stars” and were nominated for “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman this year, but they didn’t pull out the win on that one. They did, however, win Best Original Song for “This Is Me” at the Golden Globes. The pair also took home the 2017 Tony Award for Best Original Score and the 2018 Grammy for Best Musical Theater album for Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen.
The upcoming Aladdin reboot will star Will Smith as the Genie with Mena Massoud as Aladdin and Naomi Scott as Jasmine. The film wrapped earlier this year so hopefully, we will be graced with some teasers and footage coming up soon. Fans at CinemaCon were treated this year to some exclusive footage of the upcoming live-action remakes of The Lion King and Dumbo, as well as a look at Will Smith’s take on the Genie. According to Caleb Williams, Co-Founder of Omega Underground, Smith’s Genie will not be blue but will, in fact, wear blue clothing.
What do you think of the new songs? Are you excited for Aladdin and Jasmine to sing another duet? Aladdin hits theaters on May 24, 2019!
Having studied Media & Writing at James Madison University, I always knew that I wanted to do some type of creative writing, but being able to write about zombies, Starks, and superheroes on a daily basis for Fan Fest is my actual dream. While I probably shouldn’t be as proud as I am to be so similar to Nick Miller, I do hope to one day write my own “Pepperwood Chronicles’.