Disney’s 1001 Nights Film Will Bring Arabic Folk Tales To the Big Screen

The House of Mouse is looking toward the Middle East for its next live-action fantasy film. According to Deadline, Disney is currently developing a new project inspired by One Thousand and One Nights (also known as Arabian Nights), the collection of Arabic folk tales comprised of stories from the Islamic Golden Age. The film will hit theaters under the truncated title of 1001 Nights.

Writers from across the entirety of Asia and North Africa contributed stories to the original collection, whose earliest English-language edition is said to have been published in the early 1700s. Certain later editions notably featured “Aladdin’s Wonderful Lamp,” which Disney has already adapted multiple times. Other stories commonly associated with the book include “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” and “The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailer.”

The collection is also recognized for featuring some of the earliest elements of science fiction. One of its stories, “The Adventures of Bulukiya,” saw the title character journeying to several different locations throughout the universe, including other planets, to discover the source of immortality. It’s still too early to say which tales will make their way into Disney’s new movie. Regardless, the film will reportedly be an “original take” that doesn’t tie into any existing Disney IP, including Aladdin.

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To write the script, Disney has turned to Arash Amel, who previously wrote this year’s Disney+ original movie Rise. Amel also penned the screenplay for A Private War in 2018. In 2016, he was hired to write a remake of John Carpenter’s Starman with Shawn Levy directing. But last year, Levy indicated that development on the remake had stalled.

Disney hasn’t announced a release date for 1001 Nights.

Have you read the original collection of stories? Which tales would you like to see adapted for the screen? Tell us your picks in the comment section below!

Recommended Reading: The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights (Modern Library Classics)

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