Will Smith thought negative reception of his 'Aladdin' genie was 'funny'

Will Smith has bounced back following the negative reception of his blue genie from the live-action “Aladdin” trailer.

The star is taking over the character Robin Williams brought to life in the 1992 animated Disney feature. A teaser trailer showing Smith’s blue-skinned look debuted during the 2019 Golden Globe Awards.

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The 50-year-old actor appeared in his genie costume – which was published on the cover of Entertainment Weekly in December – but this time, entirely blue, seemingly with some CGI effects. Unfortunately, fans were quick to criticize Smith with countless memes and negative opinions online.

Will Smith says he laughed off the negative backlash to his genie character.

Will Smith says he laughed off the negative backlash to his genie character. (Disney Enterprises, Inc.)

Speaking to Empire in a recent interview, Smith explained that he was able to laugh off the public backlash, but was taken aback by the role the Internet played in the whole mess.

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“It was very funny,” Smith said. “There was a Sonic The Hedgehog / Genie frog. Everything is under such critical scrutiny. I came up in an era where there was no Internet. It’s a new thing that I’m trying to get a handle on.”

Fortunately, “Aladdin” released a full-length trailer in March that won back the public and even managed to change the minds of some critics.

“It even came with apologies from the cynics who were so adamant initially,” director Guy Ritchie told the outlet. “I’ve never seen apologies in that world. I thought, ‘Oh well, great, we’re back to where I’d hoped we’d be.'”

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The live-action “Aladdin” adaptation hits theaters May 24.