In the upcoming, live-action adaptation of “Aladdin,” Will Smith steps into the role of the beloved Genie, and in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly he discussed the task of taking on an iconic character originally voiced by Robin Williams.
“Whenever you’re doing things that are iconic, it’s always terrifying,” Smith told Entertainment Weekly in the Wednesday report. “The question is always: Where was there meat left on the bone? Robin didn’t leave a lot of meat on the bone with the character.”
Smith ultimately decided to put a new spin on the Genie, while still making it something that was a hat-tip to Williams, he told the outlet.
“I started to feel confident that I could deliver something that was an homage to Robin Williams but was musically different,” Smith said. “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.”
Smith reportedly drew on his own extensive entertainment background, such as his parts in “Independence Day” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” for his take on the Disney classic.
While feeling that his take will be seen as “unique,” Smith noted that “there hasn’t been a lot of that hip-hop flavor in Disney history.”
At the helm of the anticipated May 2019 flick is director Guy Ritchie, who told Entertainment Weekly that his role as a father made taking part in “a kids’ film" something that was "very appealing to me.”
In this version of the Genie, Ritchie told the outlet that he “wanted a muscular 1970s dad.”
The character also “has an ego and is a little bit vain and he cares about how he’s presented because he’s been doing this for a very long time,” Ritchie said.