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November 08, 2017 at 02:54 PM EST

Aladdin

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
G
performer
Scott Weinger, Robin Williams
director
John Musker, Ron Clements
distributor
Walt Disney Productions
genre
Sci-fi and Fantasy, Animation

The whole new world of Disney’s live-action Aladdin won’t be without a certain feline friend.

Despite speculation that Princess Jasmine’s pet tiger won’t appear in the Guy Ritchie-directed remake, a source close to production tells EW that Rajah will indeed be a part of the film.

In the original 1992 animated film, Rajah is Jasmine’s primary source of companionship within the confines of the palace walls. In the new film, Jasmine (Naomi Scott) will also have another friend in the form of a new character, a handmaiden called Dalia (played by Nasim Pedrad), who Scott told The Hollywood Reporter will be a key confidante for her character.

“I never realized it, but in the animation, Jasmine is really the only female character — isn’t that crazy?” Scott told THR. “The Dalia character is so important to this movie because she’s the only other female character. She may be the handmaiden but they’re best friends; they’re so close because they’ve grown up together. So we wanted people to watch the movie and see Jasmine’s relationship with another woman, and be like, ‘Ah, that’s what I’m like with my girlfriend,’ or ‘We would so do that if I was in that position.’ That’s something that’s missing from the animation.”

Aladdin, which also stars Mena Massoud in the title role and Will Smith as the Genie, will fly into theaters — with Rajah in tow — on May 24, 2019.

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