Along with a Lion King remake we can’t be mad about because it has Beyoncé in it, there’s a live-action Aladdin due out later this year. But unlike the star-studded Lion King voice cast, the actors playing the characters we know and love are mostly unknowns – except for Will Smith as the Genie.
Now, the initial, non-blue photos of Smith’s Genie were concerning enough. That beard.
But the brief moment we get at the end of this trailer, which dropped during the Grammys broadcast, is… really, really not promising.
Wisely, Smith doesn’t seem to be riffing on Robin Williams’ iconic, manic performance as the Genie in the 1992 original.
But at one point, Will Smith was one of the most bankable, charismatic stars in the world. It takes some real work to make him look this off-putting.
Looks like someone blue this one pic.twitter.com/hX66XvKM6w
— Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) February 11, 2019
Will Smith genie is what appears in my room when I have sleep paralysis pic.twitter.com/NzMDOgvkkz
— Jenny Nicholson 🔜 Galaxy's Edge (@JennyENicholson) February 11, 2019
Can someone SERIOUSLY explain to me how mystique from FIFTEEN years ago looks better than will smith in 2019 pic.twitter.com/ZM7Oo6zWEv
— satan (@MARVELOLOGY) February 11, 2019
So yeah, people are not convinced.
Also, while we’re at this, can we talk about Hot Jafar’s voice?
He’s still fine, but without that sneering, growling tone, the effect isn’t quite the same.
On the bright side, the Prince Ali parade looks bright and appropriately extra, and Jasmine exudes regal sass.
Nobody panic, OK? We still haven’t seen Will Smith’s rap version of ‘Friend Like Me’. Hopefully it’ll be as good as this fake version…
Entertainment Weekly previously spoke to Smith about the role and how it would differ from Williams’ iconic portrayal.
“There’s a little bit less mimicking — there’s a James Brown piece that we do but a little bit less mimicking,” he said.
“The thing that will be the major addition from me playing the Genie is the hip-hop base. I think that’ll be fun for people. I think it’ll stand out as unique even in the Disney world. There hasn’t been a lot of that hip-hop flavour in Disney history!”
So, no Rodney Dangerfield impression, I guess.