Let’s be honest, how many people were honestly going to say they wanted to see the 1992 animated classic Aladdin remade in a live-action production? Well, Disney have been taking a huge number of the favourites and bringing them into the 21st century by utilising special effects and techniques which seemed impossible when the cartoon counterparts first debuted. While the various images and clips make the film look amazing, the biggest criticisms seem to come on Will Smith playing the all-powerful Genie of the lamp!
I for one was all up for this casting. We knew that you would never get a Robin Williams type of casting, but then again, I feel that makes casting Smith a better choice anyway as he will indeed be different. Over the last few hours, I have been reading some Twitter and Facebook messages and I will be defending this iteration of the blue being that will be at the centre of this remake!
“He Is Just Doing Will Smith!”
Really? Well done for working that one out. Now I can not say that Will Smith is the best actor in the world, but when you cast the man, you have a good idea of what you are to get from him. When Robin Williams was cast, it is believed he was just allowed to be himself and become as zany as possible to create a Genie that was much loved and definitely the source of much of the humour in Aladdin. So is an actor being like himself really that bad? Nope!
“Why Was He Cast? He Will Just Play The Same Character He Always Does”
Well, can you really get an idea of the character he is playing from a couple of images and 5 seconds of video? If you can, then well done. Why is it the opinion can be stamped to an actor and/or character before the film comes out. Anyone remember Heath Ledger as The Joker? I think the internet exploded that day when the announcement was made. Everyone only remembered Heath for either his romcoms, A Knights Tale (oh god!) and Brokeback Mountain. But it turned out Ledger was awesome and the Oscar was well deserved.
“I Had Such High Hopes For This…But I Can’t Get Past The Horrible CGI On Will Smith’s Genie”
If Genie was just a human in blue paint, would you be annoyed? Of course. Does a big imposing Genie with blue skin, otherworldly body and huge presence require CGI to work? I would say so. I can understand why many won’t like the CGI. But remember, this is just a few seconds of what is to come. I honestly think it looks OK, Will Smith looks like the genie with his essence all over it like I would have wanted. Also, am I the only one who likes the CGI?
“…I Wanted Gabriel Iglesias”
NO! OH GOD NO! NO NO NO NO NO!!! If I could have chosen, I would have loved to have seen Matt Lucas to create a truly laid back Genie with a rather animated look in real life.
“I Won’t Watch This Car Crash”
Ok, that is up to you. I honestly see that this film will be much like The Jungle Book and Beauty And The Beast and live up to its legacy and actually appeal to audiences old and new. Aladdin was indeed a great movie in the 90’s and the one thing that does sadden me is that Robin Williams didn’t live to reprise his role as The Genie. Apart from that, I reckon this will be a decent movie. It won’t be the best of all time, but it will be successful.
So, now that I have gone through my timelines and found some answers to the people complaining about the Will Smith version of the character really needs to either wait until we get a bit more footage or just go into the film with an open mind. I know this will not be the perfect iteration of the character, but no actor can ever top what Robin Williams brought to the part when he got in that voiceover booth and unleashed possibly the most iconic Disney character I have witnessed in my lifetime.
What do you honestly think? Do you believe Will Smith will be good? Do you believe he will sink the film? I for one can’t wait to see this film.
Aladdin will be out in cinemas May 24th 2019!
Written by Jonjo Cosgrove