When Disney first announced that it was making a live-action version of 1992's "Aladdin," one of the biggest questions surrounding the production centered on the looming presence of the late Robin Williams, and his instant classic take on the role of Genie. How could anyone possibly fill his shoes? And frankly, should they even bother?
The answers are complicated, but according to the creative team behind the new version, the character is in incredibly capable hands. Will Smith, no slouch in the acting department himself, has taken up the part, and reports from CinemaCon this week suggest that he does a more than admirable job of portraying the larger-than-life magical being.
While speaking at the studio's CinemaCon panel, Disney executive Catherine Taft summed up what fans can expect from Smith's take on Genie.
"No one can replicate the iconic performance by Robin Williams, and we wouldn't want them to," Taft told the crowd. "Let's just say, he's a little 'Fresh Prince,' a little 'Hitch,' and a whole lot of attitude."
Taft's reference to two of Smith's most well-known roles certainly indicates that the actor will be offering his own unique interpretation of the character. (Well, unique to his talents, anyway.) And Taft is right: No one should be doing a Robin Williams impression.
Based on the limited footage that was screened at CinemaCon, Genie will also have an updated look in the new "Aladdin," too. According to Entertainment Weekly, Smith was "dressed in embellished blue robes with the Genie's iconic gravity-defying ponytail on his head."
We're definitely curious to see more. "Aladdin" is set to open on May 24, 2019.
[via: Entertainment Weekly]