WASHINGTON — Entertainment Weekly has unveiled a first look at Will Smith in costume as the Genie in Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” movie, and not everyone is thrilled with it.
Smith stars in director Guy Ritchie’s update of the animated classic, alongside Mena Massoud as Aladdin and Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine.
Smith, himself a former member of Bel-Air royalty, said he is bringing a “hip-hop flavor” to the character originally voiced by Robin Williams.
“I started to feel confident that I could deliver something that was an homage to Robin Williams but was musically different,” Smith said in an interview with EW. “Just the flavor of the character would be different enough and unique enough that it would be in a different lane, versus trying to compete.”
Ritchie stressed that the version of the Genie seen on the magazine’s cover this week is a work in progress, and he’s still tinkering with the look of the character, who apparently will still have the original’s blue skin.
“I wanted a muscular 1970s dad,” Ritchie told EW. “He was big enough to feel like a force — not so muscular that he looked like he was counting his calories, but formidable enough to look like you knew when he was in the room.”
Twitter users were fairly underwhelmed by muscular-1970s-dad Genie on Wednesday morning.
“Aladdin” is scheduled to hit theaters May 24.