Aladdin Remake Writer Unhappy

Last week, the first teaser for Disney’s live-action remake of their contemporary classic Aladdin arrived with middling reactions. With the exception of a few key establishing shots of the city of Agrabah and the Cave of Wonders, as well as the first glimpse at Mena Massoud as Aladdin reaching for the genie’s lamp, the teaser was rather lackluster.

And it turns out one of the original film’s screenwriters isn’t too happy with it either, but for an entirely different reason.

Terry Rossio may best be known today for co-writing the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise at Disney. But before that, he wrote the original animated Aladdin along with his writing partner Ted Elliot, and Disney’s famous writing/directing duo Ron Clements & John Musker.

Even though Terry Rossio will undoubtedly receive a credit on the live-action remake when the credits roll next May, he’s not receiving any compensation for this whole new movie based on his screenplay, and that’s not sitting too well with him. Rossio took to Twitter to express his frustration:

The “rhyme” that Rossio is referring to is the dialogue spoken by the Cave of Wonders, which says, “Only one may enter here. One whose worth lies far within. The diamond in the rough.” While that’s not exactly a rhyme, those lines were written by Terry Rossio and Ted Elliot. And Rossio is frustrated that Disney isn’t compensating the original writers after reusing their work.

Rossio explained more about this discrepancy behind the scenes when author Amy Alkon followed up:

So even though Disney is using characters, dialogue, settings, etc. created by Terry Rossio & Ted Elliot and Ron Clements & John Musker, the studio doesn’t have to pay them a dime because there were no stipulations for extra compensation in their contracts if the movie was ever remade.

While this is certainly a frustrating decision by Disney, from a business standpoint, there’s no reason for them to pay someone again for work they’ve already done when they’re not obligated to do so. It would be decent of them to provide some kind of compensation, especially since Rossio would apparently be happy with something simple like a pass to Disney theme parks. In fact, Rossio already received one of those once for another Disney project for which he received no compensation, but it was taken away for some reason:

While it might be easy to say that Terry Rossio maybe needs a better agent to negotiate his deals to include more royalties and compensation for any other use of the intellectual property he helped create for Disney, this really just looks worse for the House of Mouse. Combine this with the recent firing of Chuck Wendig at Marvel and the firing of James Gunn from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, and the studio has really been stiffing the creative minds who make them loads of money.

Rossio has been asked for further comment on the matter, but it looks like he’s not trying to make that big of a deal about the issue:

Maybe Disney should do the right thing and at least send Terry Rossio a new Disney pass, even if it’s only for Mondays.

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