Will Smith in talks to play Genie in Disney's Live-Action Aladdin

04/19/2017

Will Smith is in early talks to voice the Genie in Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” reboot from director Guy Ritchie.

 

According to Deadline, Smith is currently in early negotiations with the studio to play the iconic character in the remake directed by Guy Ritchie. The late Robin Williams originally voiced the character in the animated film, landing a special Golden Globe award for his performance.

“Aladdin” was the highest-grossing film of the year in 1992, raking in over $504 million in the box office, and was nominated for five Academy Awards and won two, including Best Original Score and Best Original Song for “A Whole New World.” Based on the Middle-Eastern folktale Aladdin and the Magic Lamp, the 1992 animated film was co-directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, who had previously-directed The Little Mermaid and would go on to make other Disney classics, including Hercules, Treasure Planet, The Princess and the Frog, and Moana. It famously featured Robin Williams as the film’s genie, along with Scott Weinger as Aladdin, Jonathan Freeman as Jafar, Linda Larkin as Princess Jasmine, Frank Welker as Aladdin’s monkey pal Abu, plus Douglas Seale as The Sultan, and Gilbert Gottfried as Iago.

The remake retells a Middle Eastern folk tale and follows a lowly "street rat" named Aladdin as he ascends to notoriety after a magical genie trapped in a lamp grants him three wishes, but who eventually gets thwarted by a scheming sorcerer.

Producer Dan Lin has promised a fresh take on the film, especially in regards to diversity in casting. In an interview with Collider, the producer said, "When I came in to make the movie, I wanted to make a diverse version of the movie.”

He continued, "Luckily for me Guy Ritchie has the same vision and Disney has the same vision, so we're not here to make Prince of Persia. We want to make a movie that's authentic to that world."

The remake would mark Will's first animated movie since the 2004 film A Shark's Tale. Earlier this year, outlets were reporting that Will was circling around the lead role in the House of Mouse's revamp of Dumbo, but had to walk away from the Tim Burton-directed picture because of scheduling conflicts. Smith is the first actor whose negotiations for the film have been reported in the media. A worldwide casting call is underway for the film’s two lead roles with Middle Eastern actors and actresses sought to play the roles of Aladdin and Princess Jasmine.