Guy Ritchie’s live-action adaptation of “Aladdin” may have just found its Genie. According to Deadline, Will Smith is in early negotiations to play the role previously assumed by the late Robin Williams in the 1992 animated classic.
Smith was also in discussions to join Disney’s live-action “Dumbo” by director Tim Burton, but those ultimately fell through. Although it may be difficult to follow up on Williams’ iteration of Genie, Smith has had a diverse acting career, including roles like “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Men in Black,” “The Pursuit of Happyness,” “I, Robot” and more.
The original “Aladdin” was based on one of the Arabian folktales in “One Thousand and One Nights.” The story follows a street rat named Aladdin, who finds a lamp containing a magical genie that grants him three wishes. The live-action remake will retain the animated film’s musical identity, which was directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. Smith is also known for his musical talents, which may make him a good fit for the Genie role.
“Aladdin” will follow an incredibly successful stint of Disney live-action remakes that includes “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Jungle Book,” “Alice in Wonderland” and more.
The live-action Aladdin is expected to begin a six-month shoot in July. The project does not yet have a release date.