When director Guy Ritchie revealed Will Smith’s blue genie from the live-action remake of Aladdin, it was ripe meme fodder.
And the internet stepped up and did its duty admirably, ribbing the bizarre combination of The Fresh Prince and everything from Sonic The Hedgehog to Tobias from Arrested Development.
It was pretty merciless.
— Jon from… (@TheInvasionShow) February 11, 2019
But it appears that Smith took it all in good humour, telling Empire magazine in its latest issue: “It was very funny.”
“There was a Sonic The Hedgehog/Genie frog. Everything is under such critical scrutiny. I came up in an era where there was no Internet. It’s a new thing that I’m trying to get a handle on.”
Smith is playing the role immortalised by the late Robin Williams in the original Disney animated movie, the genie who Aladdin releases from the lamp.
And though later footage showed that he’s not going to be of blue hue throughout the film, it was still brutally amusing to watch the mockery unfold.
Speaking of that later footage, Ritchie claimed to the magazine that once the full-length trailer arrived, some people changed their minds.
“It even came with apologies from the cynics who were so adamant initially,” Ritchie said.
“I’ve never seen apologies in that world. I thought, ‘Oh well, great, we’re back to where I’d hoped we’d be.’”
However, it remains to be seen whether this latest live-action reboot in the Disney arsenal is up to snuff.
Footage show at the CinemaCon event in Las Vegas earlier this month didn’t inspire a huge amount of confidence, as Smith was seen rapping in the rendition of the classic song Friend Like Me.
Starring Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Jasmine, Marwan Kenzari as Jafar, it’s due out on May 22.