Will Smith is in Talks to play the Genie in Disney’s live action adaptation of the 1992 animated classic Aladdin.
Disney’s live action version of Beauty and the Beast has already earned $1.046 billion at the worldwide box office so it comes as no surprise that they are moving full steam ahead with their other adaptations. The latest news from Deadline is that the Guy Ritchie helmed Aladdin adaptation is seeking out Will Smith (Suicide Squad, Collateral Beauty) to will Robin Williams’ shoes as the Genie. Here’s the report:
“Will Smith is in talks to take on the genie role made famous by the late Robin Williams in Disney’s live-action Aladdin from Guy Ritchie, we hear.
Like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin will be a live-action musical and that would fit well with Smith who is not only an actor but was known to the world for his musical prowess as The Fresh Prince rapper before he hit the little or big screen. The production is gearing up for a long, six-month shoot, so that is one consideration. It is supposed to start in the U.K. in July and wrap early next year.
John August (Big Fish) scripted the story based on the 1992 animated classic and follows the story of Aladdin and Princess Jasmine after the commoner Aladdin finds a magic lamp and, upon shining it up, a genie is released from being trapped inside. The bigger-than-life genie then grants Aladdin three wishes.”
Smith was previously rumored to be in talks for a lead role in Disney’s live action adaptation of Dumbo, presumably the role that Colin Farrell will now be playing. Despite not being the blockbuster draw that he once was, Smith is still an A-list star and is as charismatic as they come. He’s not the first name I would have picked to play the Genie, but it’s not yet known how the character will appear on screen in this iteration. Will he be a shape-shifting character like the movie, or more of a larger than life game show host personality like the Broadway show or something completely different?
With Ritchie in charge this film is likely to focus more on Aladdin’s place as a street rat/hustler/con man so perhaps a Robin Williams fill-in is not the correct fit for the tone. It’ll be impossible for whatever actor taking on the role to escape William’s shadow because the character is so closely connected to the late actor. No matter what, I have my fingers crossed for this one because Aladdin has always been my favorite Disney film.
What do you think? Are you on board with Will Smith potentially playing the Genie in the live action adaptation of Aladdin? Share your thoughts in the discussion board below.