Will Smith's Genie in Disney's live-action Aladdin will be blue, eventually. The mega-movie star is set to put his own twist on the role Robin Williams' voice became synonymous with next year. However, the first look at Smith's version of Genie is noticeably different, but that won't be the case for the entire film.
The remake found up and coming actors Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott to fill the lead roles of Aladdin and Jasmine, respectively, but the film needed some true star power in finding their Genie. Disney and director Guy Ritchie landed on Smith to play the part, and he has big shoes to fill thanks to Williams. Instead of attempting to exactly recreate the magic of Williams' Genie, Smith is infusing the character with his own personality and even some "hip-hop flavor." The changes won't stop there, though, as the first look image of the live-action Genie showed a more realistic and human look for the character.
Thanks to how iconic Genie has become, the possibility of such a major change for Aladdin took many fans by surprise. However, when Smith shared the images on his Instagram, he used the opportunity to clear the air even more. His Genie isn't big and blue in any of the images currently released, but the star promises that he's "gonna be BLUE" in the movie.
Confirmation of a blue look for Genie is welcomed news, and even though we can't yet see it, Smith and Ritchie did discuss what the blue form of their Genie will look like. Ritchie said the design is "a muscular 1970s dad," so there shouldn't be any fear that this live-action version won't replicate the larger than life look of the original. Beyond just the look though, Smith also must bring a Genie-sized personality to the character. Both the look and personality of this new Genie could be central to Aladdin's next piece of marketing, likely a second trailer.
This early reassurance by Smith is a quick and simple way of stopping any potential fan outrage over a new design before it truly begins. As much as everyone (Disney included) would like to see the images of the blue version of Genie, the fact of the matter is that the CGI may not yet be finished enough to make this possible. It is better for the movie to wait and show off the blue look when it is done instead of rushing out an earlier look that could then be scrutinized. And in the meantime, Aladdin can sell itself with Smith's recognizable face, before showing off the final big blue look of Genie.
Source: Will Smith
- Aladdin (2019) release date: May 24, 2019