As fans anxiously await the arrival of Disney’s live-action film of Aladdin, Entertainment Weekly graciously revealed the first look of Will Smith as the beloved Genie. While Smith the actor may be a perfect fit for the comedic role, some fans aren’t exactly sure about his costume and makeup.
Entertainment Weekly shared the first photos on the cover of their latest issue. Smith appears alongside Aladdin and Jasmine, played by Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott. But Smith isn’t blue like the original character famously voiced by Robin Williams in 1992. He doesn’t even appear to be altered by CGI technology.
Due to the drastic alterations from the original, Smith’s look seemed to garner mixed reactions on Twitter. Some users weren’t impressed, while others are still willing to give the movie a chance.
Not to worry though, Smith shared a photo from the EW shoot on Instagram and noted that he will be blue in the film. Even so, director Guy Ritchie hinted that he would be taking Genie and the live-action film in a different direction.
“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 on,” Ritchie told EW.
We can show you the world… of Disney’s live-action #Aladdin! Get a shining, shimmering, splendid first look at the reimagined classic in our magical First Look issue: https://t.co/Kwkcdfen5v pic.twitter.com/7NbyiRRcLH
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) December 19, 2018
— SHEila || forevercryingaboutbensolo (@sheilaslalaland) December 19, 2018
Smith also stated that he had a tough time figuring out how to bring new energy to his character, especially after it had already been flawlessly executed by Robin Williams. “Whenever you’re doing things that are iconic, it’s always terrifying,” Smith said. “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.[Williams] infused the character with a timeless version of himself.”
The award-winning actor added: “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 different enough and unique enough that it would be in a different lane, versus trying to compete.”
Smith later suggested that his portrayal of Genie will be just as memorable and will come with a little “hip-hop flavor.” “I think it’ll stand out as unique even in the Disney world,” he continued. “There hasn’t been a lot of that hip-hop flavor in Disney history.”
Disney’s Aladdin hits theaters on May 24, 2019.Check out the first-look of the Genie above.
I'm not usually one to advocate for blueing people up (cough, Avatar, cough cough), but really Disney, you could have kept Will Smith as himself (live action) and gave him the hue of Robin Williams #Genie smh #Aladdin
— Tiffany Alice (@itsTiffanyAlice) December 19, 2018
I’m sorry but they need to make Will Smith’s genie a blue cloud dude this ain’t right
— DENNIS DEPRIMO (@DENNISDEPRIMO) December 19, 2018
— Joseph Estadt (@JosephEstadt) December 19, 2018