Disney are in the habit of rebooting their much-loved classics at the moment, with almost every film they’ve ever made getting the so-called ‘live-action’ treatment.
The Jungle Book seemed to be their first effort at testing the water with the whole 21st century makeover gig, and that went down a storm, leading to the likes of Dumbo and Lion King trailers recently dropping.
Disney released a teaser trailer for the live-action Aladdin back in October, teasing the iconic Cave of Wonders from the 1992 original film. While the trailer showed Aladdin approaching the famous magical lamp that resides within the cave, Will Smith’s Genie character (made famous by the late Robin Williams in the animated film) was conspicuous in his absence.
Now, though, Entertainment Weekly have shared the first look at the character – alongside Mena Massoud as Aladdin, and Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine – and fans are divided over his distinct lack of…blueness.
Have a look for yourself below:
He looks like he should be in a Christmas panto.
Looks hella’ cheap if you ask me.
Needless to say, the first look was divisive, with plenty of fans outraged at the new interpretation of the character.
— BossLogic (@Bosslogic) 19 December 2018
— your least favorite pun enthusiast (@JCantWrite) 19 December 2018
The Genie should be blue and CGI. pic.twitter.com/Wwt51pyu21
— Steven Morrissey (@STEVENM0RRISSEY) 19 December 2018
Will smith should have been a CGI Genie, he looks ridiculous and nothing like a Genie. Kills the immersion of the film. This the director’s first film or something? because this is a massive mistake, rest of the cast looks 10/10.
— Varkasi | Saige (@vrimra) 19 December 2018
— PhiL McGraw (@blessthephil) 19 December 2018
It looks like someone dared Will Smith to dress like MC Hammer and balance a teacup on his head.
— 🌜Umberto🦋Peacock🌛 (@olmanwalkinshoe) 19 December 2018
Apparently, while the pictures reveal the human form of the Genie, there will also be a blue floating lamp version in the film – it’s just Ritchie hasn’t finished the effects yet.
“Whenever you’re doing things that are iconic, it’s always terrifying,” Smith told EW of taking on the role. “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.”
However, after acknowledging that Williams “infused the character with a timeless version of himself,” Smith decided he would do the same.
“I started to feel confident that I could deliver something that was an homage to Robin Williams but was musically different,” he said. “Just the flavour of the character would be different enough and unique enough that it would be in a different lane, versus trying to compete.”
Director Guy Ritiche (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) added:
“I wanted a muscular 1970s dad.
“He was big enough to feel like a force — not so muscular that he looked like he was counting his calories, but formidable enough to look like you knew when he was in the room.”
I’ve learnt that you should never comment on something before you’ve actually seen it so I’m going to reserve my judgement here.
What I will say is that if anyone can play the Genie and somehow recreate a bit of Robin Williams’ magic, it’s Will Smith.
Please let this be good.
Images via Entertainment Weekly/Disney/Getty