Will Smith in talks for Genie role in new Aladdin movie
Deadline reports that Will Smith is in early talks to join Disney’s live-action remake of Aladdin in the Genie role! The late Robin Williams originally voiced the character in the animated film, landing a special Golden Globe award for his performance.
Production on the film is expected to begin in June of this year in the UK and it will shoot until early 2018. Smith was also previously in talks for the live-action Dumbo movie, though nothing came of those talks.
Smith is the first actor whose negotiations for the film have been reported in the media as a worldwide casting call is underway for the film’s two lead roles as Disney is looking for a Middle Eastern actor and actress to play the roles of Aladdin and Princess Jasmine.
Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Rock’n’rolla) will direct the film, which has a script by John August (Big Fish) and will keep the musical elements of the 1992 hit.
Aladdin was nominated for five Academy Awards and won two, including Best Original Score and Best Original Song for “A Whole New World.” Based on the Middle-Eastern folktale Aladdin and the Magic Lamp, the 1992 animated film was co-directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, who had previously-directed The Little Mermaid and would go on to make other Disney classics, including Hercules, Treasure Planet, The Princess and the Frog, and Moana. It famously featured Robin Williams as the film’s genie, along with Scott Weinger as Aladdin, Jonathan Freeman as Jafar, Linda Larkin as Princess Jasmine, Frank Welker as Aladdin’s monkey pal Abu, plus Douglas Seale as The Sultan, and Gilbert Gottfried as Iago.
Aladdin joins a long list of live-action remakes by Disney of their classic animated films, including Cinderella, The Jungle Book, Pete’s Dragon, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Mulan, Dumbo, and more.
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