Guy Ritchie's live-action Aladdin is already boasting an impressive cast: lead by up-and-coming actor Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Will Smith as the Genie, Power Rangers star Naomi Scott as Jasmine and The Mummy's Marwan Kenzari as the diabolical Jafar. However, the latest casting of former As the World Turns star Billy Magnussen as an original character, Prince Anders, has fans asking: who is this new mysterious prince? According to Vanity Fair, Anders is a Scandinavian prince from Skanland and "potential suitor for Princess Jasmine." So what does this mean for the plot of the remake?
Could Prince Anders Be A Depiction Of Another Aladdin Folktale Character?
Since Aladdin was based off the Arabic folklore, One Thousand and One Nights, there's a chance Guy Ritchie is tapping into the original source for his film. Based on this recent casting, there's no denying that Ritchie's depiction of the 1992 Disney classic will be tweaked a bit ─ something he's done with films like Sherlock Holmes and King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. With that said, Prince Anders may be a nod to a character in Aladdin and The Wonderful Lamp, simply known in this story as the "vizier's son," which means his role could be pretty significant.
What is Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp?
Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp is part of Andrew Lang's Fairy Books, a collection of 12 color coded books with over 437 fairy tales inspired by different cultures throughout the world, published between 1889 and 1910. The Wonderful Lamp is part of the Blue Fairy Book and tells the story about a poverty stricken noble boy who finds a magic oil lamp.
From the impoverished, kindhearted street rat to the evil sorcerer who uses Aladdin and the genie who made it all possible ─ there are a ton of similarities between the cartoon's Aladdin and the 1889 folktale. One similarity is with the son of the Sultan's vizier and Prince Anders. If this prince is going after the affection of Jasmine, then he'll probably be another antagonist for Aladdin in film. In Aladdin the animated movie, it was Jafar who was ruthless in his pursuit of power and who used magic to force Princess Jasmine to marry him. However, The Wonderful Lamp sees a very different, more cynical version of Aladdin that would make Jafar proud, as his competitor becomes a victim of sorts.
A Different Version of Aladdin
In The Wonderful Lamp, the princess is promised to the vizier's son, but Aladdin, now wealthy and royal with the help of some magic, wants to wed the princess. Aladdin sends his mother to ask for the Sultan's favor. The Sultan is wooed by this new suitor's wealth, and starts to affect his promise to the vizier and his son. However, his vizier asks him for a three month postponement, so that his son might be able to procure a better present. The Sultan agrees and he tells Aladdin's mother he would wait. Unfortunately, the good news doesn't last long ─ after two months time, Aladdin discovers that wedding plans for the vizier's son and the princess are underway. Like any man with some magical power, he just orders the genie to kidnap the princess and groom at night in their bed. The two are transported to Aladdin's house, where he orders the genie to put the frightened vizier's son outside for the whole night.
The result of their adventure leaves both the princess and vizier's son distraught, with both of them agreeing to separate. Neither the Sultan nor the Vizier knew Aladdin was the reason for any of it. Nevertheless, the Sultan was forced to adhere to his three month promise, and when the time was up, Aladdin was granted the princess.
Although The Wonder Lamp depicts the princess's potential suitor as a victim, it's extremely unlikely Guy Ritchie will go that far. Prince Anders is sure to bring forth a cocky, brash challenge for Aladdin, and with Jafar being who he is, it looks like Aladdin and Abu will have their hands full with enemies on both sides. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait a little longer to find out, since Aladdin isn't set to hit theaters until 2019.
What do you think of Aladdin having some competition? Leave a comment below.