Abra-kadabra! The first look at Will Smith as the beloved Genie is Disney's live-action iteration of Aladdin.
Much to the surprise of many fans, this version of the Genie isn't big and blue, like the character voiced by Robin Williams in the animated film. Rather, this Genie stays true to the live-action format and is an actual person. Will Smith is fully Will Smith, no CGI involved.
The first photo of Genie comes via the cover of the newest issue of Entertainment Weekly. Take a look!
Of course, this Genie is very different than the one that fans fell in love with back in the '90s, but that's okay. Director Guy Ritchie was well aware that he could never recreate the magic of Robin Williams, so he decided to go in a completely 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.
When Will Smith landed the role, the ever-personable actor said that he needed to figure out which parts of the character hadn't been touched by Williams, and leave his on trademark in those areas.
“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,” he continued. “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 went on to say that he believes his version of the Genie will stand the test of time because there hasn't been anything like him in a Disney movie to this point.
"I think it'll stand out as unique even in the Disney world," he said. "There hasn't been a lot of that hip-hop flavor in Disney history."13comments
What do you think of this new look for Genie? Let us know in the comments!
Disney's Aladdin hits theaters on May 24, 2019.