Will Smith's Aladdin genie 'won't imitate Robin Williams'

Ben Arnold
Contributor
Will Smith and Robin Williams’ Genie (Credit: Entertainment Weekly)

With Disney’s live-action Aladdin remake gathering pace, it’s emerged just how Will Smith plans to take on the iconic Disney character originally voiced by the late Robin Williams.

And it appears he’ll be calling upon some of his past work for inspiration, rather than what some were worried could become a parody of Williams inimitable style.

Disney executive Catherine Taft let the audience at the CinemaCon event in Las Vegas into how Smith will play it in the movie, being helmed by Brit director Guy Ritchie.

“No one can replicate the iconic performance by Robin Williams, and we wouldn’t want them to,” she said (via Entertainment Weekly).

“Let’s just say, he’s a little Fresh Prince, a little Hitch, and a whole lot of attitude.”

The audience also got to see a glimpse of how Smith will look, robed in blue, and with a ponytail perched on top of his head.


We just started shooting Aladdin and I wanted to intro you guys to our new family… Mena Massoud/Aladdin, Naomi Scott/Princess Jasmine, Marwan Kenzari/Jafar, and I’m over here gettin my Genie on. Here we go!

Posted by Will Smith on Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The crowd also saw a snippet of the movie’s star Mena Massoud in action as Aladdin, dressed in white, racing through the bustling market streets and leaping across the rooftops of Agrabah pursued by the Sultan’s men.

Ritchie’s Aladdin has big shoes to fill, however.

The 1992 movie is among the most beloved of all Disney’s animated creations, with a much-loved Alan Menken score featuring the songs Friend Like Me, One Jump Ahead, and A Whole New World, which featured lyrics by Tim Rice and the late Howard Ashman.

According to reports, the live-action version will include many of the original’s musical elements.

Also starring Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine and Marwan Kenzari as Jafar, it’s due out in May, 2019.

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