Having already remade Cinderella, The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, Guy Ritchie’s reimagining of Aladdin will be the latest Disney classic to get the live-action treatment.
With the film’s May 2019 release date a tick over six months away, Will Smith took to Instagram to reveal the first poster.
That’s right. Will Smith. Why is the Fresh Prince announcing a poster for Aladdin, you ask? Because — brace yourself — he is playing Genie, the bubbly, blue magician voiced by the late Robin Williams in the original.
The poster reworks the 1992 theatrical poster in a more minimalist fashion.
It features the iconic magic lamp sitting on a glowing rock, with just the hint of a wispy purple trail escaping from the spout. Beneath the golden lamp is the cryptic message: “choose wisely”.
Will Smith is by far the biggest name attached to the film.
Director Guy Ritchie has chosen a relatively unknown cast that appropriately reflects the Arabian culture of the animated original.
Canadian actor Mena Massoud will play Aladdin, while Naomi Scott, star of the 2017 Power Rangers movie, will play Jasmine. Dutch actor Marwan Kenzari of Murder on the Orient Express fame will play the villainous Jafar and Navid Negahban will feature as the Sultan.
Personally I think it’s great to see an ethnically suitable cast. One gets the distinct feeling that were this film made a few years ago, it would have featured a helluva lot more white guys ‘n’ gals.
At first Will Smith might seem an odd choice for Genie, seeing that he has never been a straight-out comedian like Williams. But from Men in Black to Hitch and Bright (that was a joke, right?) he has always shown a talent for comedy.
And who knows. Maybe this interpretation will be completely different. Maybe Genie won’t be funny. Maybe he’ll be a travelling salesman, or a hired hitman, or a retired soldier trying to survive the zombie apocalypse?
Naomi Scott already told The Hollywood Reporter that we would see a different version of Jasmine.
“She’s a multidimensional woman and she doesn’t have to just be one thing. So in this movie, you see her go on such a roller coaster, as opposed to her one goal being to fall in love or get married.”
Whatever the case, the live-action Aladdin promises to give us a whole new world. I guess we’ll have to wait until May 2019 to find out what it looks like.