Aladdin, the latest Disney's live-action remake, has already received its fair share of criticism. When the teaser for the film was released, memes mocking Will Smith's portrayal of the iconic Genie role went viral, based on concerns over the CGI used to translate the role to live action. The former Fresh Prince takes over the role from Robin Williams, who voiced the character in the 1992 animated feature. But far from finding the memes offensive or demoralizing, Smith enjoyed them.
"It was very funny. There was a Sonic The Hedgehog/Genie frog. Everything is under such critical scrutiny," the actor told Empire. "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."
The teaser trailer for the upcoming film gave audiences their first look at Smith's Genie, a look that has since been adjusted -- perhaps somewhat in response to the slew of memes. According to director Guy Ritchie, he has since received "apologies from the cynics who were so adamant initially."
Contemporary technology has made it possible for every single frame of a teaser trailer to be analyzed, even if the film it is advertising hasn't yet been completed. As Smith notes, everything is under much more scrutiny now.
Aladdin hits theatres May 24. Director Ritchie and Genie Smith are joined by Mena Massoud (Aladdin), Naomi Scott (Jasmine), Marwan Kenzari (Jafar), and Alan Tudyck as the voice of Iago, amongst many others. The film is produced by Walt Disney Pictures.