Aladdin first look reveals Will Smith’s live-action Genie, Twitter is already protesting
The pictures were released as part of an Entertainment Weekly spread, and also provide first looks at Mena Massoud as Aladdin and Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine. The film was under great scrutiny during its casting and production, mostly regarding its treatment of ethnic actors. While Massoud’s casting was appreciated, the decision to cast the British Scott as a Middle Eastern character was questioned. The film attracted further controversy when it was reported that several white extras were made to look Middle Eastern.
Sharing the pictures on Twitter, Massoud wrote, “Who would have thought... a street rat on the cover of @EW.” Smith, sharing the first look on Instagram, assured fans that he was going to be blue in the film.
Several fans on Twitter have already started to complain about Genie not being blue in the film. The character was famously voiced by Robin Williams in the animated classic. “Will Smith’s genie hair in the live-action #Aladdin is going to be a major source of anxiety for me in 2019,” one person wrote. “Aladdin and Jasmine look good! Will Smith’s Genie looks baaaaaaaad. But hey, maybe it’ll look better in motion. These things normally do,” wrote another.
Other pictures show the characters in different setting. In one of them, Genie can be seen having a discussion with Aladdin in the desert, and in another, Aladdin and Jasmine appear to be under some sort of disguise.
Aladdin comes amid a streak of live-action remakes produced by Disney. The studio has already remade Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella and will produce a live-action Mulan next.
Director Guy Ritchie told EW that facing comparisons to the original film was daunting. “My skills and experience could add enough to make it feel fresh and worth it, but not so much so that it would wash away nostalgia,” he said.
Disney has already released a teaser for the film, due out in 2019. You can check out more reactions here:
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