Will Smith Circling Role of Genie in Guy Ritchie’s ‘Aladdin’

Will Smith Aladdin
Vianney Le Caer/REX/Shutterstock

Will Smith is in early talks to voice the Genie in Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” reboot from director Guy Ritchie.

The role was famously voiced by Robin Williams in the 1992 classic and would mark Smith’s first animated film since DreamWorks Animation’s 2004 comedy “Shark Tale.”

Following a string of adult dramas and action movies like “Collateral Beauty” and “Suicide Squad,” Smith has been eyeing a family-friendly film as his next project. He was circling the lead role in “Dumbo,” but walked away from a deal due to scheduling conflicts.

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Disney and Smith were still interested in working together though, so the studio shortlisted him when this opportunity arose.

The studio plans to cast newcomers as Aladdin and Jasmine.

John August, whose credits include “Big Fish,” wrote the new “Aladdin” script. Dan Lin, who produced Ritchie’s two “Sherlock Holmes” movies for Warner Bros., is also producing “Aladdin” through his Lin Pictures company. Jonathan Eirich is exec producing.

The original animated movie was a comic take on the Arabic folk tale of a young man granted three wishes by a genie trapped in a lamp.

“Aladdin” was the highest-grossing film of the year in 1992, and won Academy Awards for best score and best song for “A Whole New World.”

Smith can be seen next in Netflix’s fantasy actioner “Bright.” He is repped by CAA and Overbrook Entertainment.

Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.

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  1. Foxx says:

    I’m actually glad to hear Will Smith being talked about with movies, you’d actually wouldn’t expect him to be involved in. He did say he was going to make riskier choices in his acting, and not focus so much on doing the same thing. Focus, Concussion, Suicide Squad, Bright, and even Collateral Beauty have not been the type of movies, you’d actually expect Will Smith to be in.

  2. JewasarausRex says:

    NOOOOOOO! Please God noooo!

  3. tjchurch2001 says:

    If the film is to be live-action, it should be live-action like most of Smith’s films…. NOT the way they killed memories of “Jungle Book” with voices given to real animals!!!

  4. willy wonka says:

    oh please nooooooo

  5. In my opinion, no one will ever match Robin Williams in this role, but I think Will Smith would be amazing. As for Genie being animated, I’m sure it will take a bit of CGI to recreate the scenes from the original animated movie.

  6. Not Frank Friendly says:

    No robin williams and guy from full house. No thank you. Plus I have no intention to watch some white guy cast as an arab then have society freak and have them cast some real arab. This is like bad news bears times 1000. Make new movies. Stop rehashing stuff that the original actors are dead.

  7. Baron Munchausen says:

    Um, Genie is visible as a FULL character and not just a voice in Aladdin. I don’t know how Ritchie is going to ruin this, but it sounds like I’m already too late…

    • tjchurch2001 says:

      Nobody is just a voice in Disney’s original “Aladdin”, but it appears it will all be live-action outside of the Genie in this version, which will have that character solely CGI with someone else clearly providing Robin’s most-memorable contribution.

  8. Alex Meyer says:

    I actually wouldn’t mind this. Nothing will ever top Robin Williams, but Will Smith’s larger-than-life persona could work really well here.

    • JewasarausRex says:

      Wrong!

    • bigjonnyko says:

      i agree with you, no actor will be able to do Genie the way Robin Williams did Genie… but Will Smith doesn’t have to out-perform Robin Williams, that would be an unwise mistake. However Will Smith can make it HIS OWN version of Genie (similiar to how Heath Ledger played Joker. I mean, everyone thought that Jack Nicholson’s version was so perfect that it couldn’t be topped…and, for the most part, that’s correct. So…. Heath Ledger re-invented him through his eyes, based on his vision. The end result was breathtaking and Oscar worthy, and DIFFERENT than Nicholson’s. Better? That’s up to the fans, but i think both versions of the Joker are excellent adaptions that only the actors themselves could have created!

      • tjchurch2001 says:

        I agree with your comparison of Jack & Heath, but that is not relevant here. BOTH had their faces & bodies to use, whereas in this case, neither did/will.

  9. toughmudder says:

    Wait… you state that the film is a live-action adaptation of the 1992 animated film… but then state that this will be the second time Will Smith has voiced an animated character since Shark Tale. I’m guessing the role of the Genie will be live-action like the rest of the film, correct?

    • I agree with you, tough, I think Will Could play that genie, and with current CGI, it could be simply fantastic. …And judging from the last several live-action renditions of the old favorites, the new version will be psychological and dramatic. Shaq in Shazzam was certainly impressive, and the CGI in Disney’s Chronicles of Narnia series was impeccable. I’m pretty sure that they will find perfect actors to play the part, and they will be ethnically correct. You Really can’t top Disney for this kind of thing. That’s why I hope they’ll bring my Moonchild to life … but That’s another story…

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