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:
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
CANT FUCKING LOOK AT WILL SMITH’S GENIE WITHOUT LETTING OUT A LITTLE SNORT LMAO THAT BEARD AND THAT BUN pic.twitter.com/FEkArQDiZm
— victoire// (@wingardians) December 19, 2018
— Tom Percival (@twpercival1) December 19, 2018
I prefer the live action Aladdin Disney did with Sinbad as the genie https://t.co/VZ23zbvYI2
— Brandon Stroud (@MrBrandonStroud) December 19, 2018
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.
We can show you the world… of Disney’s live-action #Aladdin! Get a shining, shimmering, splendid first look at the reimagined classic in our magical First Look issue: https://t.co/Kwkcdfen5v pic.twitter.com/7NbyiRRcLH
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) December 19, 2018
He told Entertainment Tonight:
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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