Bleats

The Latest Footage Of Will Smith's Rapping, Beatboxing Blue Genie Is 'Nightmare Fuel'

Do we actually WANT a friend like him?

This whole live-action Aladdin situation has been a rollercoaster ride, and the movie isn’t even out yet.

First we heard it was a thing – yay!

Then we heard Will Smith would be the Genie, one who’s “a little Fresh Prince, a little Hitch, and a whole lot of attitude”, according to Disney.

Then we saw pictures, and it was… fine? At least Jafar is hot?

Then we saw footage of Blue CGI Genie Will Smith. And oh no.

There were memes.

Now, certain critics and journalists lucky enough to be at CinemaCon in Las Vegas have copped some new and exclusive footage of Disney’s upcoming 2019 titles, including the sequence where Genie sings ‘Friend Like Me’.

Well – sings, raps, and beatboxes, apparently.

Reviews are… mixed.

Much better reviewed was the footage from The Lion King, which was the recreated “everything the light touches” scene.

Also, just a reminder that Aladdin is directed by Guy Ritchie. So perhaps there’s a subplot where our fave street rat has to help Jafar fix an underground tiger-fighting match?

We’ll just have to wait and see.

Will Smith's Being Replaced In Suicide Squad 2 By The Reigning Sexiest Man Alive

Can we replace him in the first one too?

We live in the age of remakes, reboots and rehashes, and it’s starting to look like Suicide Squad 2 will set a new record for the shortest time between the original film and the reboot.

That’s what they do.

Not only has sacked Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn been brought on to write, direct and have “a completely new take on the property“, but a key character is being recast, and it should be a significant improvement.

Deadshot was played by Will Smith in the first movie, but clearly he didn’t have enough fun to make it a scheduling priority (clashes with promo for his creepy genie?), because news came last week that he wouldn’t be returning for the sequel.

This is actually a blessing on us all, because sources have told multiple outlets, including Variety and TheWrap, that he will be replaced by the current reigning Seixest Man Alive, and your next James Bond if the casting gods are good:

Yes, Idris Elba.

Sexy Villainous Assassin Idris Elba.

While it might be a rumour from Elba’s camp to get his name in headlines ahead of his new Netflix Original Turn Up Charlie, it also might be a leak from DC to actually get people excited about the prospect of a second Suicide Squad movie.

More like the entire human population.

The full cast for the sequel hasn’t been announced, although they’d be mad not to pay Margot Robbie whatever she wants to return as Harley Quinn – she’s already clearly the breakout star of the franchise, to the point where the Birds Of Prey movie has been hijacked with a Harley-focused subtitle longer than the actual script.

So if they can just do something about Jared Leto’s whole deal, they’ll have me on board.

Robin Williams' Genie Is Safe, If This Aladdin Trailer With Will Smith In The Role Is Anything To Go By

Phenomenal cosmic budgets... and this is what they come up with?

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.

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.

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