The December/January issue of Entertainment Weekly provides a first look at Will Smith as the Genie in Disney’s upcoming Aladdin remake. We also get a glimpse of Naomi Scott who plays Jasmine, and Mena Massoud as the film’s protagonist, Aladdin.
Many fans immediately had negative reactions to Smith’s lack of blue hue. It’s understandable that the first look should be nothing short of awesome and accurately portray whats actually in store, but Of COURSE they’re going to make Genie blue, guys. Nevertheless, Smith took to his Instagram to assure fans that although he’s not blue on the cover, he is in the film.
Aladdin is helmed by director Guy Ritchie, who says the passing of Robin Williams made the burden of reimagining Genie even more daunting, as the shoe filling seemed even bigger. “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 says.
Will Smith says of the role, “I started to feel confident that I could deliver something that was an homage to Robin Williams but was musically different,” he says. “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.” “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.”
Aladdin hits theaters May 24, 2019.