When the new live-action Aladdin movie was first announced by Walt Disney Studios, and even throughout most of its marking campaign, fans assumed that the film would largely be a strict remake of the animated classic. The original Aladdin from 1992 is still wildly beloved by the fans, and the story mostly holds up, so it would make sense for the remake to stick to the script. This is mostly true of Guy Ritchie's adaptation, though there are couple of substantial changes, one of the biggest being a drastic change to the beloved Genie in the film's final act.
WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Disney's Aladdin! Continue reading at your own risk...
This take on the Genie is inherently different from the original, but that's expected. Will Smith took his own approach to the character, very different from the iconic performance delivered by Robin Williams years ago. That said, the Genie's powers and overall plot are pretty similar to the animated take on the character, right up until the point that Aladdin uses his final wish to set Genie free. In that moment, Ritchie's movie completely veers from the original, and Genie gets a very different future.
When Aladdin wishes Genie free in the animated film, the shackles from Genie's arms dropped to the ground and he's able to travel the world and do whatever he wants to do, while still having the powers and abilities of a mystical being. However, in this new adaptation, that's not the case. Instead, when Genie is freed, he becomes a human being.
Early on in the movie, when Genie is explaining how wishes work to Aladdin, the young man asks him what he would wish for if given the chance. Genie says that he'd wish to be free, "to be human." It sounds odd at the time, but we see what he means once he's freed.
This decision gives Genie the ability to not only live a mortal life, but to begin a relationship with Dalia, Jasmine's best friend and handmaiden, who he spent plenty of time flirting with throughout the movie. We learn that Genie and Dalia went on to have two children and travel the world as a family.
What do you think of this major change to the Genie? Does this mean a potential Return of Jafar sequel is out of the question? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Disney's Aladdin is now playing in theaters.