Will Smith in Talks to Play Genie in Aladdin Live-Action Remake

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Will Smith in Talks to Play Genie in Aladdin Live-Action Remake

genie applause

If he ends up taking the role of Genie, Will Smith has some pretty big shoes to fill...

Live-action remakes of classic animated Disney movies is the latest tactic for the studio to desperately to re-package your childhood, and Arabian adventure Aladdin is next in line to get the treatment. It's still in the very early stages of pre-production at the moment, but Deadline is reporting that actor Will Smith is currently "in talks" to play the role of Genie.

Now before you get your hopes up (or down), this isn't the first time Smith has been "in talks" about a Disney movie. He had previously been in talks with Tim Burton about Dumbo, but nothing materialized out of that.

The live-action remake of Aladdin is being helmed by Guy Ritchie, best known for Snatch and the Sherlock Holmes films, with his big-budget fantasy movie King Arthur: Legend of the Sword hitting theaters in May.

The original role of Genie was of course played by Robin Williams, who sadly took his own life in 2014.

Source: Deadline

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I think Aladdin is gonna be a VERY controversial movie regardless of who is gonna be Genie.

Why? Why does this even need to exist? Who is the brain-dead monkey in charge at Disney that keeps green-lighting these terrible, unnecessary remakes? Are they ashamed of being an animation company or something?

No offense to the man, but jesus, what a downgrade. I know, I know, Robin William's Genie is a hard act to follow given it was some of his best Improv work, but just going from a comedic standpoint Will Smith isn't even in the same ballpark. Funny guy, sure, but someone who is really dependent on the script being solid than being able to make the jokes himself.

...Though, given how the Beauty and the Beast live-action went, he'd still probably be the best part of the movie.

I'm calling it first, it's gonna be some gangster hip-hop stereotyping.

Gibbagobba:
Why? Why does this even need to exist? Who is the brain-dead monkey in charge at Disney that keeps green-lighting these terrible, unnecessary remakes? Are they ashamed of being an animation company or something?

The Beauty and the Beast remake was actually alright. I mean, it doesnt replace the original, but it atleast justified it's existence. Ofcourse, it was intentionally a near straight up remake of the original, rather than a "new take" on it, while also filling in most of the holes the original left. (Also I think I like the live action "Be My Guest" more).

The real question, will this try to be like BatB and be a near scene for scene remake, perhaps filling in various gaps and plot holes, or will it be one of the ones that try to be different?

Either way, I dont think today's Will Smith will be good for this. Men in Black 1 Will Smith? Maybe. But not Smith as he is now. Another positively energetic comedian would be my recommendation. Not sure who though off the top of my head.

Samtemdo8:
I think Aladdin is gonna be a VERY controversial movie regardless of who is gonna be Genie.

Tom Holland with some spray on tan, should be fine.

There's not a single word in that headline that didn't make me want to vomit.

Personally, I hope they get Sinbad, because it would amuse me for there to be a man with that name in an Arabian story other than the one which you would expect.

Gibbagobba:
Why? Why does this even need to exist? Who is the brain-dead monkey in charge at Disney that keeps green-lighting these terrible, unnecessary remakes? Are they ashamed of being an animation company or something?

Beauty and the Beast raked in lots of money, remember. Hell, people even liked that one, unlike the Transformers films which make money but nobody admits to paying money to see.

Mmmm, I'm not sure. I don't like Will Smith, but I don't hate him either. I think his carrer right now is just running off of whatever goodwill he has left from Independence Day and the first Men in Black movie. They should probably look to someone with a better track record for such a critical part.

mad825:
I'm calling it first, it's gonna be some gangster hip-hop stereotyping.

For how the Genie is I am predicting he will go full Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Might be similar to Oscar in Shark Tale.

And while everyone is focusing on Will Smith as genie, I can't help but notice they got Guy Ritchie as director. Looking at his portfolio, he seems an odd match for a fairy tale.

Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope! Smith is a good performer but he's not even a pale shadow of Williams

Chimpzy:
And while everyone is focusing on Will Smith as genie, I can't help but notice they got Guy Ritchie as director. Looking at his portfolio, he seems an odd match for a fairy tale.

Have you seen his Sherlock Holmes movies?

Quellist:
Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope! Smith is a good performer but he's not even a pale shadow of Williams

Robin Williams was a bad actor who occasionally stumbled onto the set of good movies.

Hmm...What a sad case of affairs. Not as bad as the Jumanji remake though. Am curious as to how Guy Ritchie will do this. Will Statham be kicking ass on a cockney debt-collecting magic carpet?

Wrex Brogan:
Funny guy, sure

Not even that. I like him as an actor and he can play a funny guy because he's really good at his job, but from what I've seen of him in some interviews he's pretty obnoxious as a person. An extreme extrovert. Listen to his obnoxious fuckin' laugh. I like the guy but when he starts laughing it makes me want to punch him in the face:

No.

Just no.

Jim Jeffries or Louis CK as the genie.

Xsjadoblayde:
Hmm...What a sad case of affairs. Not as bad as the Jumanji remake though. Am curious as to how Guy Ritchie will do this. Will Statham be kicking ass on a cockney debt-collecting magic carpet?

Statham isn't his go to actor, Jason Flemyng is.

Is his kid playing Alladin?

Saelune:

Either way, I dont think today's Will Smith will be good for this. Men in Black 1 Will Smith? Maybe. But not Smith as he is now. Another positively energetic comedian would be my recommendation. Not sure who though off the top of my head.

And that is a huge problem with a pick like this. Will Smith can be capital g Great. But he is reasonably low energy. And he is supposed to be the replacement for high octane Williams? I don't think so.

Maybe a Chris Tucker type. Though he'd want a $20 million payday to start.

09philj:
Robin Williams was a bad actor who occasionally stumbled onto the set of good movies.

Maybe, maybe not but he's Laurence Olivier compared to Will Smith

As others have said, the problem is that Smith is a pretty good dramatic/action actor being considered for a comedic role that was defined by one of the best comedians to ever come down the pipe. A straight 1:1 translation of the character is going to be a tough trick to manage, and anything else is going to change the nature of the whole production.

He won't be Genie, He will be Will Smith playing Genie. Will Smith is one of those actors who only ever plays himself in a movie. Genie's lines will be rewritten to make them sound like they could come out of Will Smith's mouth. It will be like Oscar from Shark Tales.

image

I can see them trying to angle in a slavery aspect, casting a black guy as a genie. Not that this isn't a good angle to go with, I could see that being very well done in the hands of someone who knows what he's doing and knows when and how to hit hard on those kinds of issues . . .
But Disney's not that. Disney has never been that. Disney doesn't have the balls to do it properly.
Or it could just be stunt casting. I don't know.
Either way, fuck all these unnecessary live-action remakes. You're not going to do better than the originals and you're just embarrassing yourselves trying.

Are we starting to take bets for the exact minute when he says "Aw hell no"?

We all know he's gonna say it.

Robin Williams was a bad actor who occasionally stumbled onto the set of good movies.

Got to disagree hard with that statement. He's memorable enough for me to rattle off 'What Dreams May Come,' 'Good Will Hunting' and 'Mrs. Doubtfire' even though I haven't seen those films in years. Not just because they were 'good movies he happened to be in' (I actually think 'Dreams' is a little dull and over-wrought in parts) but because of his performance/s.

In Dreams, I felt the melancholy that permenated through his character years after his childrens's deaths and believed he loved his wife enough not to leave Hell without her. Good Will Hunting he delivers at least two great monologues and actually made me believe he was tough in one scene. Mrs. Doubtfire, sure its a silly comedy about a man dressing up as a woman, but people forget the court scenes. This is a man who is bones deep so in love with his children it is litterally impossible for him to stay away from them. Williams takes a silly comedy, with a turn off your brain premise, and actually, somehow, makes it believable. If that's not great acting I don't know what is.

As the epic voice guy said it during the honest Adladin trailer, that animated film wouldn't be made if it was made in this present time. So yeah the lived action is going to be controvisial in one way or another.

Will Smith would be a terrible fit.
He doesn't have near the energy to play Genie.
He's way too much the straight man.

Honestly though - even though I'm sure there's someone out there who could pull off a good Genie, there's always going to be a part of me that isn't going to accept it not being Robin Williams.

Scarim Coral:
As the epic voice guy said it during the honest Adladin trailer, that animated film wouldn't be made if it was made in this present time. So yeah the lived action is going to be controvisial in one way or another.

I've never seen the original. What's the controversy?

Wintermute:

Scarim Coral:
As the epic voice guy said it during the honest Adladin trailer, that animated film wouldn't be made if it was made in this present time. So yeah the lived action is going to be controvisial in one way or another.

I've never seen the original. What's the controversy?

It's more of an compare and contrast of the past and present.

By all means there is nothing controsival with the original film, well I suppose embedding that trailer will summed it better than I would.

Ugh. You know. Animation has come a long way down hill. I mean DIsney is essentially just remaking their animated classics with live actors and really, while competently done. Why? It really doesn't make sense. But then again, when your nearest competition won't look at anything that isn't related to a talking spnge.

Ugh. You know. That's the problem I foresaw when DIsney bought out Pixar. Pixar as an independant could have been the driving force that encouraged DIsney to up its game. Just as the competition with Don Bluth studios was what in part prompted the renaisance.

Whyyy.
I have no issue with Disney Live action remakes as such... I think they're unnecessary but eh.
Why Will Smith tho... He's not a good fit. Even when he was younger he would have been more suitable to play Aladdin.

RJ Dalton:
I can see them trying to angle in a slavery aspect, casting a black guy as a genie. Not that this isn't a good angle to go with, I could see that being very well done in the hands of someone who knows what he's doing and knows when and how to hit hard on those kinds of issues . . .
But Disney's not that. Disney has never been that. Disney doesn't have the balls to do it properly.
Or it could just be stunt casting. I don't know.

That could actually be an interesting approach but it would never be handled well by Disney in this kind of movie. The slavery aspect is already pretty evident in the story tho, casting a black guy is just going to draw parallels to real-world issues in a way that's just going to be awkward if you don't actually focus on handling it well.

(and in any case, even if you want to hire a black actor, surely there are better fits than Will Smith?)

Is he capable of acting as anything other then himself?

Genie has always been characterized as being spontaneous and imitating actors.I don't think this will turn out well, if it's true.

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