Will Smith’s Genie Finally Revealed in new Aladdin TV Spot
It’s official—Will Smith is very blue. And magical!
Disney has dropped the first TV spot for Guy Ritchie’s live-action remake of Aladdin, and it delivers our first peek at Will Smith’s blue-skinned, wish-fulfilling Genie. Smith stars opposite Mena Massoud as the lovable, down-on-his-luck Aladdin, with Naomi Scott as the potent Princess Jasmine. This version of Aladdin also boasts a suite of new songs by Alan Menken and La La Land songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Menken is an Aladdin original; he created the music for the 1992 animated version alongside Howard Ashman and Tim Rice.
Everyone interested in Aladdin and the prospects of Will Smith as Genie now finally have their first good luck at his character. Smith’s genie is big and blue, as we’d expect. What could be seen as a rather nice surprise is that Ritchie and his team haven’t gone overboard with the CGI, despite having the tools to turn Smith into the most mesmerizing Genie in Aladdin history. This is likely a smart move. It goes without saying that he has charm and gravitas to spare, so it was likely a tough choice to decide just how much CGI he required to become the mystical figure in this timeless tale. This first glance gives us a very blue but perhaps fairly lightly designed version. The last time an actor of Smith’s screen presence and likability took on the role of Genie, it was Robin Williams in the 1992 animated version. This is a much taller order. Both Smith and Ritchie have proven more than capable of taking on outsized projects and investing them with zest and wit, and here lies a major opportunity and then some.
Aladdin opens in theaters on May 24, 2019. Joining Smith, Massoud and Scott are Marwan Kenzari as Jafar, Navid Negahban as the Sultan, Nasim Pedrad as Jasmine’s handmaiden, Billy Magnussen as a potential suitor for the Princess, and Numan Acar as Jafar’s right-hand man.
Featured image: Mena Massoud in Aladdin Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios