Will Smith is in talks to play the Genie in Disney’s planned live action version of their 1992 animated film Aladdin.
The Hollywood Reporter states that negotiations are still at an early stage, and that Smith’s high price tag could be a stumbling block in the talks.
Unlike the current live action adaption of their animated classic Beauty And The Beast, it may be safe to assume that this version of Aladdin will be somewhat different from its animated progenitor. The original film featured the late Robin Williams in a rather manic vocal performance. I don’t think anyone expects or perhaps even wants Smith to try and replicate that performance. And while the film may parallel the animated original’s plotline, the different energy that Smith will bring to the role gives the film a chance to stand out as its own thing.
Guy Ritchie is set to direct Aladdin, and his visual style could also be something that helps to set the film apart from the original.
This is not the first time that Smith has flirted with appearing in one of Disney’s live action adaptions of their classic animated films. He was previously in discussions with the studio to appear in their planned new version of Dumbo, which is set to be directed by Tim Burton. Obligations to an at-the-time-planned shoot for Bad Boys 3 caused the talks to break off. Bad Boys 3 was placed on a back burner for Smith after director Joe Carnaham dropped out of the project.