In what marks a whole new world for Disney, the studio is developing its first spinoff from one of its live-action remakes.
Disney has hired Jordan Dunn and Michael Kvamme to pen a script for an Aladdin offshoot centered on Prince Anders, the scene-stealing character played by Billy Magnussen in the live-action film released earlier this year, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Magnussen would reprise the part in a feature, which is in early development for Disney+, the company’s newly launched streaming service. The project is not a sequel to Aladdin, which is also in the planning stages at the studio.
Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich, who produced the billion dollar-grossing Aladdin, are back in the producers’ seat via Rideback, their banner. Rideback’s Ryan Halprin will executive produce.
Overdressed and on the dim side, Anders was royalty from a fictional kingdom named Skanland and a suitor for the hand of Princess Jasmine. While only in less than a handful of scenes, as played by Magnussen with a mix of goofiness and haughty idiocy, the character, who was an original creation for the live-action remake, made a fun impression on audiences.
Magnussen had a hand in the project’s inception. He came to the producers with an idea for a story and was involved, along with the studio and Rideback, in meeting with potential writers.
Disney has been pursuing a strategy of remaking its animated classics into live-action versions — a strategy that has, for the most part, paid off handsomely, with Aladdin and The Lion King, both released this summer, the most recent hits. While some have generated sequels, Aladdin is the first live-action remake to spark a spinoff.
Dunn and Kvamme are rising writers who have several comedy projects set up around town, including Operation Prince of Freedom, centered on an un-PC celebrity, the Taliban and an alien invitation, set up at Fox. They also wrote the esports project set up at Legendary that has Will Ferrell attached to star. The duo is repped by Verve, Mosaic and Hansen Jacobson.
Magnussen, repped by WME and Anonymous Content, has made a habit of stealing scenes from his co-stars, with turns in movies such as Game Night, The Big Short and Into the Woods. He next will be seen in the upcoming James Bond movie No Time to Die.
Rideback currently has the Oscar hopeful The Two Popes, starring Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce, in theaters.