Director Guy Ritchie is creating a whole new world with the live-action remake of Disney’s “Aladdin.”
Entertainment Weekly revealed a series of first-look photos of the upcoming film. Mesa Massour plays the titular character and British actress Naomi Scott stars as Princess Jasmine. Meanwhile, Will Smith is the fast-talking Genie, who was originally voiced by the late Robin Williams.
“When you think timeless Disney classic, you’re not really thinking Guy Ritchie,” Smith told Entertainment Weekly. “But he brings a beautiful edge to the look and feel and imagining of ‘Aladdin.’”
Smith was initially intimidated by taking on the character.
“Whenever you’re doing things that are iconic, it’s always terrifying,” Smith said. “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.”
But the “Men in Black” actor brought his own star power to the role and recorded his own music.
“I think it’ll stand out as unique even in the Disney world,” Smith says. “There hasn’t been a lot of that hip-hop flavor in Disney history.”
While the photos show a human version of the Genie, Ritchie is working on a floating lamp version of the character for the movie.
“I wanted a muscular 1970s dad,” said Ritchie, who’s also directed “Sherlock Holmes.” “He was big enough to feel like a force — not so muscular that he looked like he was counting his calories, but formidable enough to look like you knew when he was in the room.”