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There’s been a lot of buzz around Disney’s live-action remake of Aladdin starring Will Smith in the iconic role of The Genie. But when Entertainment Weekly first dropped images from the film set, fans were outraged at Smith’s flesh-toned appearance.
— Walt Disney Studios (@DisneyStudios) December 19, 2018
However, Smith assured fans that he would definitely be blue in the film, like the original Genie from the 1992 animated film, voiced by Robin Williams. Well, Internet, your wish was granted. During last night’s Grammy Awards, the world got its first glimpse at Will Smith’s blue genie—and, well, it was definitely a thing.
No one knows where to begin with this reveal. Did Disney, with its enormous budget and talented team of designers, literally just spray paint The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air blue? (Uncle Phil would be furious). Is Will Smith’s Genie ripped or does he have a total dad-bod?
When asked about how he is going to follow up the iconic performance of Williams, Smith explained how he researched Williams’s work and noticed it was timeless and how much the actor incorporated himself in the character. Smith told EW this inspired him to infuse the character with a timeless version of himself, explaining, “And then that opened up for me… hip-hop, it opened up fashion.”
A Disney executive was quoted describing Smith’s Genie as “part Fresh Prince, part Hitch.”
While we’re not sure exactly what a “part Fresh Prince, part Hitch” Genie will be like, Twitter had plenty to say about what he looked like and sounded off below.
Imagine having the Genie look like this when you could have just ripped the software from Avatar ASDKFAHSKSKS pic.twitter.com/y1mg4eoArD
— Fat Canary (@IWriteAllDay_) February 11, 2019
The Avatar comparisons were abundant…
rt for tobias like for genie.. trying to prove a point pic.twitter.com/OnsuN02cvc
— diondra (@filmyth) February 11, 2019
…as were call backs to Arrested Development. Tobias Funke is shaking.
Will Smith Genie gave me such a fright. Haven’t been this spooked since those Gushers commercials. pic.twitter.com/8qr8NlsaG2
— Cameron Scheetz (@cameronscheetz) February 11, 2019
Many likened Smith’s blue-bod to that of those creepy Gushers commercials from the ’90s.
I feel nothing but a deep primal fear towards Will Smith as the new Genie. His ears are so big and his forehead stretches into infinity. I want to kill him with fire. Why do we have to suffer? A new #Aladdin film is just pointless. Please God, save us from this hell. pic.twitter.com/ogUlgDdkqN
— ???????? ??????? (@almightyaxolotl) February 11, 2019
The general vibe viewers felt towards Smith’s character was an overwhelming sense of fear. Pretty rough considering Aladdin is technically a kid’s film.
How are we going to go to sleep after this? Check your closets twice before bed, y’all.
Will Smith genie is what appears in my room when I have sleep paralysis pic.twitter.com/NzMDOgvkkz
— Jenny Nicholson don't talk to me about Sonic (@JennyENicholson) February 11, 2019
You won’t be the only one.
What’s most baffling to me is that a human-shaped genie has been done and it was fine so like why NOT just slap some harem pants on Will? You can even paint him blue if you MUST. pic.twitter.com/4wC7niICJN
— Joanna Robinson (@jowrotethis) February 11, 2019
Fans of the Broadway version of Aladdin referred that there are ways to incorporate the blue of the animated original onto a live-action actor without being horrifying. Disney, before you create another live-action remake of a childhood classic, please take note.
In Smith’s defense, it is incredibly difficult to follow Robin Williams’ quintessential performance as Genie, especially after his tragic passing in 2014. But come on Disney, who approved of that dye-job? Hopefully the finished product that arrives in theaters will be more polished and a little less Smurf-on-steroids.
Aladdin is slated to premier May 24, 2019.