A leaked photo has revealed what we can expect Will Smith’s Genie to look like in the upcoming adaptation of Aladdin.
Disney have been rather busy working on live-action remakes of their classic animated films, including Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Dumbo and Aladdin.
Unfortunately though, what we’ve seen so far of 2019’s Aladdin, has been disappointing fans across the world.
Firstly, there was the dull teaser trailer:
Then, there were the first official images, published in December by Entertainment Weekly.
While fans thought Aladdin and Jasmine (played by Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott respectively), looked great, they were less impressed by Smith’s Genie – the main concern being how ‘panto’ he looked.
It’s safe to say Twitter was filled with people moaning about Smith’s look that day:
Will Smith's beard for Aladdin 😂😒
— Takeshi Kovacs (@kangaroo_jaack) December 19, 2018
Aladdin's costume looks way too clean and expensive for a character that's supposed to be a street urchin imho
Genie just looks like a normal dude
Christ, these remakes are a mess all around
— Jas (@JasGloh) December 19, 2018
What is this. Why isn't the Genie Blue unless this is the ending where the genie becomes human. Aladdin Director there's a thing called CGI use it on Genie or make it practical.
— Dove's Movie Reviews (@tom13301956) December 19, 2018
— Waqar If (@Waqarifsid) December 19, 2018
Disney didn’t show Smith as the iconic blue, jolly version of Genie, who was voiced by the late great Robin Williams in the original animation.
That’s because they want to continue to tease Aladdin fans who’d like to know what Smith’s Genie will look like when he is blue.
However, a leaked photo has given us a clue, showing a sketch of what’s thought to be Smith, flexing his muscles as he comes out of the lamp.
Most importantly, he’s blue:
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Posted to Instagram by user ‘la_stregatta_luna’, the image is taken from a mug Disney have reportedly made, to sell alongside the film.
The blue mug reads ‘at your service’ and features the image of Smith as Genie.
To be honest, I found it quite underwhelming.
However, the live-action adaptation is directed by Guy Ritchie, who did such a smashing job with the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes films.
When casting for Aladdin, Ritchie knew he wanted Smith for the role of the Genie:
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.
I wanted a muscular 1970’s 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 like the fact that our Genie has an ego and is a little bit vain and he cares about how he’s presented because he’s been doing this for a very long time.
Smith does have big shoes to fill though as Williams’ Genie is so beloved.
While he has a different take on the character, Smith ensures he also pays homage to Williams saying:
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.
I started to feel confident that I could deliver something that was an homage to Robin Williams but was musically different. 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.
Although Aladdin doesn’t look promising as yet, we hope Disney have a treat in store for us when the film is finally released.
Get ready to enter a whole new world as Aladdin is set for release May 24, 2019.
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Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.