Over 2 decades in the making, Aladdin 3477 is the magnum opus film of visionary artist Matt Busch, known for illustrating Hollywood properties like Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Lord of the Rings. Based on the Arabian Nights classic tale Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp, this futuristic spin is literally years ahead of its time.

The Aladdin 3477 storyline is much different than the Disney animated version most are familiar with. Sticking to the roots of the original story, this live-action take is much darker in tone. Writer/Director Busch comments, “As much as I love the Disney take, here you’ll find no singing and no blue genie doing crazy comedy impressions.” Busch promises Aladdin 3477 will instead resemble more of a Star Wars look and feel with it’s epic scale of action and cinematic wonder.

The film stars Erik Steele as the charming thief, a role that was sought after by nearly 10,000 applicants worldwide who submitted for the part. The beautiful Christi Perovski, who was previously in movies such as Whip it with Drew Barrymore and Real Steel with Jugh Jackman and Evangeline Lilly, is playing Princess Kamala of India. Beyond the leads, Aladdin 3477‘s cast brings forth a truly ensemble work of art. There may not be a talking parrot, but Busch insists these wild characters are for a new generation and ones you’ll never forget.

Currently in principle photography, the Aladdin 3477 production has already filmed in over a dozen countries around the world. Primarily taking place across the futuristic landscapes of India, Hong Kong, Thailand, and the Kingdom of Cambodia, the bulk of the interior sets are being filmed at the Kaleidoscope Koi Soundstage in Clinton Township, Michigan.

The crew is focusing on classic tangible filmmaking techniques, using in-camera puppetry and miniatures as well as digital compositing. Busch elaborates, “This is contemporary science fiction, so of course there will be digital effects. However, I think with a lot of today’s movies, something is lost with redundant CGI and 3-D animation, so we’re shooting as much of it in camera with practical effects as we can.”

We are definitely in the thick of it all right now. We’re about two thirds through filming, but some of the biggest and most intense scenes are yet to come. We have some monster sets under construction and everything we’ve shot so far looks amazing. It’s very exciting!”

While Aladdin 3477 may not be a musical, music and sound will certainly play a big part. Producer Lin Zy elaborates, “To me, sound is half of the experience. So for as much as we are putting into the beautiful imagery on the screen, we want to create a pulse-pounding extravaganza for your ears as well.” Music acts haven’t been officially announced yet, but Lin Zy promises you’re in for a treat!

Which brings it back to Busch, who spring-boarded this adventure over 20 years ago. In addition to writing the screenplay and directing the action, Busch has hundreds of concept sketches and paintings illustrating the elaborate sets, quirky robots, sleek starships, and enigmatic characters. Every single shot in the film is storyboarded by Busch himself, in an effort to stay true to the original vision. That said, the end result is truly the work of dozens involved. The passion and professionalism carried out by all are delivering lightning-in-a-bottle, a ride you won’t want to miss!

Principal photography began in the summer of 2014, and the crew are hopeful to finish filming by the beginning of 2018 for a release soon after. Busch marvels, “This is by far the biggest project I’ve ever put my all into. We’re not skimping on anything. I’m compelled to make Aladdin 3477 the kind of movie that I would camp out in line for.”

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