Disney is planning a live-action fantasy and science fiction movie based on One Thousand and One Nights, better known as the Arabian Tales or the Arabian Nights. The collection of Middle Eastern folk tales contains popular characters such as Ali Baba, Sinbad the Sailor, and Aladdin – who of course has already had the Disney treatment.
Deadline are reporting that the movie is currently titled 1001 Nights, and will be written by Arash Amel. LA-based Amel was born in Wales and spent his early childhood in Iran. He is currently in pre-production on Amazon Studios movie Fred & Ginger, based on his original screenplay. The musical drama will star Jamie Bell and Margaret Qualley as the iconic dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. He also wrote Grace of Monaco starring Nicole Kidman, and A Private War starring Rosamund Pike.
Amel’s main experience with sci-fi so far has been on Netflix movie The Titan starring Sam Worthington and Taylor Schilling. He collaborated with Disney on Rise, a movie based on the true story of a trio of brothers who all became NBA champions.
1001 Nights will be unrelated to either version of Aladdin (1992 and 2019) that Disney has produced. Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor, and The Thief of Baghdad are the best-known of the tales (outside of Aladdin’s Wonderful Lamp), but Disney could be delving into some of the lesser-known ones, or using the framing device featuring the storyteller Scheherazade.
Disney have probably been galvanised by the fact that Guy Ritchie’s live-action Aladdin, which starred Mena Massoud in the title role and Will Smith as the genie, grossed over a billion dollars.
While we wait to find out more about Disney’s 1001 Nights, check out our guide to the best Disney movies.