Will Smith Cast as Genie in Live Action “Aladdin”

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Sun, Jul 16 - 2:58 pm EDT | 3 months ago by
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    A lot of little nuggets have come out of the D23 Expo announcements but one that really caught my attention is that the cast for the live action version of Aladdin has been announced and Will Smith is taking on the role of Genie. Wow!

    Will Smith

    Photo by Oleg Nikishin/Epsilon/Getty Images

    While I really can’t comment on the casting of Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine or Mena Massoud as Aladdin, I will say that I am not sure about Smith for this role. I’m also not particularly thrilled about Guy Ritchie as the director but that’s a conversation for another day.

    Chance are, you’ve seen the 1992 animated classic which combined a little humor with music to bring this old Arabic folk tale to life. It was the highest-grossing film of that year and my oldest kids watched it on VHS so many times that the tape literally wore thin and broke from abuse.

    Robin Williams was a HUGE reason why that movie was so entertaining and successful. He took the material and then ad-libbed the heck out of it. What audiences fell in love with was, largely, the manic genius that came out of this man spontaneously. You can’t replicate that kind of magic – especially, if you’re Will Smith.
    Don’t get me wrong. Smith is great in so many things and he really is probably among the best options out there. It’s just going to be really hard (impossible) to bring the kind of energy and humor that Williams did so naturally. I almost feel sorry for him for even having to try.
    Hopefully, they find a way to take this in a slightly different direction so that they can please the fans without setting themselves up for failure.
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