Disney released an update on the song A Whole New World from their 1992 film Aladdin on Thursday. The new version by ex-One Direction member Zayn Malik and Zhavia Ward is part of Guy Ritchie’s 2019 live-action Aladdin remake, set for a May 24 release.
The official video has Malik and Ward passionately singing the song in separate locations in a city at night. The original composition is by Alan Menken and the lyrics are by Tim Rice. Brad Kane and Lea Salonga sang the 1992 version, which won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
The song’s lyrics speak of the freedom and love that the princess Jasmine is introduced to by her new love, Aladdin. While the original ballad had a sparse orchestral arrangement with lush strings, the new version has strings along with a slow electronic beat.
After the video’s release, several Twitter users took note of how closely Zayn resembles Aladdin. One of them proclaimed that Zayn was born to be part of the project.
Aladdin is Disney’s latest live-action adaptation of their animated classics, preceded by Dumbo in March and to be followed by The Lion King in July. Ritchie’s film stars Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Jasmine, Marwan Kenzari as Jafar, and Will Smith as Genie, whose makeup and costume design has attracted a backlash. The screenplay is by Ritchie and John August (Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).