Will Smith strikes 'biggest money deal in film history' to record new music for Guy Ritchie's Aladdin (report)

Tom Butler
Senior Editor
Make way for (Fresh) Prince Ali (AP/Disney)

Will Smith is getting jiggy with the Genie in Disney’s live action remake of Aladdin.

The Fresh Prince of Bel Air star is reportedly recording new music for Guy Ritchie’s adaptation of the Disney classic in which he also stars as the Genie of the lamp.

The 49-year-old actor-musician is also said to have negotiated a record-breaking contract for his work on the film having haggled separate deals to provide music, and to play the role made famous by Robin Williams in the 1992 animated adventure. Oscar-winner Alan Menken provided the music for the original musical.

The ‘scoop’ comes courtesy of entertainment journalist Josh L. Dickey, formerly of Variety, The Wrap, and Mashable, who has a solid track record of breaking exclusives. He shared the news via a series of cryptic tweets calling Big Willy’s Aladdin payday the “biggest upfront money deal in film history”.

Smith is no stranger to negotiating mega-deals having landed $20m+ (£14.3m) up front fees to star in Suicide Squad, Men In Black 2, and After Earth. He also is said to have earned in excess of $100m (£72m) for Men In Black 3 thanks to a combined up front and profit share deal.

So how much is Will Smith being paid for Aladdin? Financial data around movie star paydays is notoriously difficult to pin down, but it would have to be in excess of the $50m (£36m) Robert Downey Jr. was paid for The Avengers to stake its claim as the “biggest upfront money deal in film history”.

Actor Will Smith attends New York premiere of “Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice” at Radio City Music Hall in New York, March 20, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Will Smith’s last album Lost and Found was released in 2005, but he has been recording new music with his former collaborator DJ Jazzy Jeff and they debuted a new EDM-inspired single ‘Get Lit’ during a performance at Livewire Festival in Blackpool in August last year.

The last time Will contributed to a movie soundtrack was 2002’s ‘Black Suits Comin’ (Nod Ya Head)’  for Men In Black II.

Disney’s Aladdin, starring Will Smith as the Genie, will also star Mena Massoud as Aladdin and Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine. It’s due in cinemas summer 2019.

Yahoo Movies has contacted Disney for comment.

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