Will Smith’s Beard In Aladdin Has Massively Divided Fans

by : Tom Percival on : 19 Dec 2018 13:26
Will SmithGetty

The first images of Will Smith’s Genie have just hit the web and fans really aren’t sure how to feel.

The photos published by Entertainment Weekly offer fans their first glimpse at Guy Ritchie’s live-action adaptation of the Disney classic Aladdin.


And while the majority of people seem pretty happy with Aladdin and Jasmine, played by Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott respectively, fans really aren’t convinced by Will Smith’s Genie.


Specifically, people seem concerned by three things, that he’s not blue, his weird beard, and that the costume looks like something from a Blackpool panto.

And not a good panto performed on the strip, this looks more of an amateur dramatic society production some group has put on in a church hall.


To voice their displeasure at this particular depiction of the widely beloved Genie fans have taken to the internet’s complaints box, Twitter.

Check out their moans here: 


Of course, it is worth noting that whoever slipped into the Genie’s size nine curly slippers was going to have a hard time replacing the late, beloved Robin Williams from Disney’s 1992 animated version.

Williams’ energetic and iconic performance as the hyperactive Genie was one of the original’s biggest selling points and is arguably the reason the film is so widely beloved.


Smith himself has admitted that he was ‘terrified’ of trying to replace Williams and has said he’s done his best to pay homage to his take on the Genie.

I was terrified doing the Genie after Robin Williams. But I found a lane that pays homage. It is my own thing, you know? So, I think people are going to love it.

It’s one of the greatest filmmaking experiences that I have ever had. I have worked at most of the studios, and Disney just knows what they are doing.

It was really a spectacular team of people that came together around a classic story. It’s so spectacular, it’s such a beautiful movie and I can’t wait for people to see it.

Smith being cast as the Genie wasn’t the film’s most controversial casting decision though. A number of critics have pointed out that the decision to introduce Prince Anders, an original character played by Billy Magnussen, was completely unnecessary.

Some went so far as to claim that introducing the character was ‘whitewashing’ and ironic considering how hard Disney worked to secure a diverse cast.

That’s not the only controversy the film’s become embroiled in either; earlier this year it was reported that white extras were ‘browning up’ during filming.

Responding to the controversy Disney claimed they filled background performer roles with white people ‘only in a handful of instances’ and only when it was a matter of speciality skills, safety and controls.

Aladdin is set for release on May 24, 2019.

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Tom Percival

More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism. Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV. He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.

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    Will Smith Says He Was Terrified to Play the Genie in 'Aladdin' After Robin Williams' Performance (Exclusive)