Will Smith in talks to play Genie in live-action Aladdin
It looks like Will Smith could be trading his Bel Air throne for phenomenal cosmic powers. The actor is reportedly in talks to join the live-action Aladdin as the voice of Genie. The latest installment in Disney's efforts to re-adapt all their animated movies for live action will be helmed by Guy Ritchie, with a script by John August.
The role of Genie was originated, famously, by the late Robin Williams in the 1992 animated film and went on to appear in the direct-to-video sequels as well as the animated series (voiced by The Simpsons' Dan Castellaneta).
The news comes after Smith recently walked away from a role in Tim Burton's live-action Dumbo adaptation due to scheduling issues. If he signs on for this gig, Smith would be the first confirmed actor cast for Aladdin. The studio is reportedly seeking unknown actors to portray Aladdin and Princess Jasmine.
Previous reports also claim Disney is working on a prequel film called Genies telling the story of how Genie ended up inside the lamp. No word yet on whether Smith would also be signing on for that role, but assuming the studio moves forward with it, it's probably a safe bet.
No release date has been set for Aladdin, but it will join a growing number of live-action Disney adaptations which include previous releases Cinderella, Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, as well as the upcoming Dumbo, Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and Mulan, among others.
So, what do you think? Are you excited to see Smith take on Genie's phenomenal cosmic powers (and itty bitty living space)?