×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Aladdin’ Teased at CinemaCon, Will Smith Won’t Imitate Robin Williams

Will Smith will put his own stamp on the Genie, Disney executives promised at CinemaCon on Tuesday while unveiling a behind-the-scenes look at its live-action remake of “Aladdin.”

Instead of imitating Robin Williams’ rapid-fire improv and celebrity impressions, Smith will inject the magical wish-granter with a little bit of the Fresh Prince and a little bit of Hitch. He also, as the footage shown Tuesday demonstrates, does not make a terribly convincing woman when dressing in drag.

Smith’s spin on the Genie isn’t the only big change in this “Aladdin.” Director Guy Ritchie, best-known for testosterone-infused flicks such as “Sherlock Holmes” and “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,” is leaning into the action sequences.

“He’s able to make it hot,” said Smith in an on-camera interview. And, indeed, the footage showed a kinetic camera following Aladdin (Mena Massoud) running, jumping, and leaping across the rooftops and through the tangled alleyways of Agrabah as he evades the Sultan’s men.

“Aladdin” will also get a feminist makeover. Princess Jasmine, who in the 1992 animated film, had little to do save for moon about the palace, is made of tougher stuff in this version. Naomi Scott, who plays the role in the live-action version, said that in the remake “Jasmine is strong and speaks her own mind.”

“Aladdin” will also feature new music, lots of dancing and pageantry, and familiar favorites such as “Friend Like Me” and “A Whole New World.”

Disney received a rapturous reception when it took the stage at CinemaCon, the annual exhibition industry trade show taking place this week in Las Vegas. The studio has released a dozen movies that have grossed in excess of $1 billion over the past six years, and has several promising upcoming blockbusters on its slate, such as “Solo: A Star Wars Story” and “Avengers: Infinity War.” It’s not just money that’s made Disney a favorite of theater owners. The studio is adamantly opposed to plans to release movies in the home weeks after their big screen debuts — an initiative that rivals such as Warner Bros. and Universal support.

“The Walt Disney Company is committed to the theatrical window. Period,” said Alan Horn, the studio’s chief, to sustained applause.

More Film

  • David Picker dead

    David Picker, Studio Chief Who Acquired James Bond Novels for UA, Dies at 87

    David Picker, who headed United Artists, Paramount and Columbia’s motion picture divisions and was known for forging relationships with groundbreaking filmmakers and material, died Saturday in New York. He was 87 and had been suffering from colon cancer. MGM tweeted, “We are saddened to hear that a member of the United Artists family has passed [...]

  • Abigail Disney on Bob Iger

    Abigail Disney Calls Bob Iger's $65 Million Compensation 'Insane'

    Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger’s total compensation for Disney’s fiscal 2018 was a whopping $65.6 million. Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Disney co-founder Roy Disney, calls that sum “insane.”  While speaking at the Fast Company Impact Council, the filmmaker and philanthropist insisted that this level of corporate payout has a “corrosive effect on society.” Disney took [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Tops International

    'Curse of La Llorona' Tops International Box Office With $30 Million

    Warner Bros. and New Line’s “The Curse of La Llorona” led the way at the international box office, summoning $30 million when it opened in 71 foreign markets. The supernatural thriller collected $26.5 million in North America for a global start of $56.5 million. “La Llorona,” based on the Mexican folklore about the Weeping Woman, [...]

  • Box Office: 'Curse of La Llorona'

    Box Office: 'Curse of La Llorona' Wins Worst Easter Weekend in Over a Decade

    Warner Bros. and New Line’s “The Curse of La Llorona” ascended to the top of domestic box office charts, conjuring $26.5 million when it opened in 3,372 North American theaters. “La Llorona” is the latest horror movie to outperform expectations, further cementing the genre as one of the most reliable box office draws. Even so, [...]

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow

    'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow Easter Weekend at the Box Office

    New Line’s horror pic “The Curse of La Llorona” will summon a solid $25 million debut at the domestic box office, leading a quiet Easter weekend before Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” hits theaters on April 26. The James Wan-produced “La Llorona,” playing in 3,372 theaters, was a hit with hispanic audiences, who accounted for nearly 50% [...]

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content