Disney has plenty of live-action remakes of their most beloved animated classics in the pipeline, and the stakes are certainly high for each attempt.
Though most of their live-action remakes are massive successes (see last spring’s triumphant “Beauty and the Beast”), the House of Mouse is not immune to equally massive flops (remember 2010’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” a reimagined take on “Fantasia?”), so there’s a lot riding on Disney getting things right.
After Disney announced there was a live-action “Aladdin” remake in the works, fans were understandably curious about what actors would take on the film’s most iconic roles.
From Aladdin himself to Princess Jasmine, Disney has a responsibility to create a diverse cast of characters. And with director Guy Ritchie at the helm, there’s a big opportunity to create a movie that takes inspiration from the 1992 animated film while giving it a 2017 twist.
And now, the cast has been announced, with fans dying to know who would play the Genie.
After all, the original Genie was one of Robin Williams’ most quintessential and adored roles of all time. Whoever would take that role on has some seriously big (and pointy) slippers to fill.
So who will play the Genie?
None other than Will Smith.
Smith definitely has the comedic timing and larger-than-life personality needed to take on Genie, and he’s got family-friendly appeal in spades. But there’s no denying that his role will be the one most closely watched, thanks to the legacy Williams tragically left behind too soon.
Here’s hoping that Smith will pay homage to Williams in his adaptation of the wish-granter, while also utilizing his own brand of comedic talent to make the role his own.
As for the other main roles? Disney announced that Naomi Scott (who enjoyed breakout success earlier this year as the Pink Ranger in Saban’s “Power Rangers” reboot) has officially been cast as Princess Jasmine. Aladdin will be played by a relative newcomer, Egyptian-Canadian actor named Mena Massoud.
The film’s release date is TBD, but stay tuned for more info in the months to come.
Photo credit: Disney