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Aladdin: First Look At Guy Ritchie’s Film Features Will Smith’s Genie

Fans seem to be relatively split on whether or not they actually want more of what Disney has to offer on the live-action front. On the plus side, it seems to be a brilliant way to revisit old classics, but on the negative side, it also opens them up to ruin said classics (at least to those hardcore fans who may treasure their childhood memories just a tad too much…yeah, I guess I’m biased against childhood memories). Some also feel like these live-action films offer little new to the existing mythology and believe they are little more than a cash grab.

I’m definitely the latter in most cases — though I will admit, while I was not excited for Beauty and the Beast, I ended up loving it even more than the animated original…sue me. I can be hypocritical, can’t I? Though, when we had a chance to see the first teaser trailer for the upcoming live-action Aladdin, I couldn’t help but feel pretty underwhelmed. More than Beauty and the Beast did in its trailer, this movie seemed to be doing little to justify its existence, as it looked to replicated its animated counterpart all too closely. What’s more is that they hid the most important part…the Genie, played by Will Smith. Of course, the Genie was pivotal in many a ’90s childhood, and that was in no small part due to Robin Williams’ amazing take on the character.

EW has our first look at the film, and it shows off our three leads — Aladdin (Mena Massoud), Jasmine (Naomi Scott), and Genie (Will Smith).


As you can see, this gives us our first look at Genie. But how did they tackle this character? After all, Robin Williams MADE Genie who he was, and there’s no way they can replicate it, right? Well, here’s how director Guy Ritchie saw the character:

“The great thing about the role of the Genie is that it’s essentially a hyperbole for who that individual actor is, so it’s a wonderful platform and tapestry for an actor to fill his boots in.”

RELATED – Disney’s Aladdin To Feature Two New Songs

In other words, they aren’t replicating Williams at all, but rather thinking of the Genie as a canvas for an actor to lean into their own personalities as heavily as possible, which is actually kind of brilliant.

That didn’t make Smith any less terrified at the prospect, as he told the outlet:

“Whenever you’re doing things that are iconic, it’s always terrifying. The question is always: Where was there meat left on the bone? Robin didn’t leave a lot of meat on the bone with the character.”

“I started to feel confident that I could deliver something that was an homage to Robin Williams but was musically different. Just the flavor of the character would be enough and unique enough that it would be in a different lane, versus trying to compete.”

Will it work? Only time will tell.

What do you think of that first look of the character? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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