The world lost a great entertainer on August 11, 2014 when Robin Williams passed away. In addition to be an amazing stand-up comedian, Williams was also an accomplished Academy Award-winning actor, whose portrayal of therapist Sean Maguire in the film Good Will Hunting showed real nuance and depth. To most kids in my generation, however, Robin Williams is one of two characters: Mrs. Doubtfire or the Genie from Aladdin.
Fast forward to today, and in our current film client, Disney is hard at work at remaking every animated film of theirs under the sun into a live-action flick. So far, they’ve covered the likes of Cinderella, The Jungle Book, and most recently, Beauty and the Beast, which grossed over $1 billion in box office grosses thus far. One film on the long list of remakes is, of course, Aladdin.
This is a question that most fans would much rather avoid, but at some point, we all need to admit that Robin Williams’ iconic role as the Genie will have to be followed up by another actor. The big question has always been “who”? Who can follow such a memorable performance, and what would that performance be like? Would they go through great pains to imitate Williams’ performance, would would they create their own?
We may be one step closer to figuring that out. According to the outlet Deadline, Hollywood superstar Will Smith is currently in talks to take on that very role. Also of note, Will Smith was also reportedly in talks to star in the Dumbo film — also come from Disney — but ultimately said talks fell through. A such, it’s important to state that this could fall through as well.
The outlet was careful to state that, just as the talks were early with Dumbo, so are the talks with Aladdin. So don’t go complaining to your friends just yet that Will Smith will play the Genie, because it hasn’t happened yet.
That being said, this does give us an idea of what kind of a personality they’re looking for. They may not be looking for a Will Smith-type per sé, but don’t expect this version of the Genie to be a wannabe version of what Williams had to offer. Not unlike the characters in The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, the characters very much serve the same function, but have the potentially to be fundamentally different in their execution.
What do you think of the idea of Will Smith playing the Genie? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!
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