Choose Wisely: Will Smith Teases Role As Genie in Live-Action Aladdin Remake

Illustration for article titled Choose Wisely: Will Smith Teases Role As Genie in Live-Action iAladdin/i Remake
Image: Michael Harriot (The Root)

Now, this is a story all about how a genie’s lamp got flipped turned upside down and I’d like to take a minute just sit right there I’ll tell you how Will Smith became a star outside of Bel-Air.


Yes, admittedly I know that line was the epitome of corny, but that does not change the fact that the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is hopping on a magic carpet and taking his talents to Agrabah. That’s right! Your favorite Man in Black will be starring in a live-action remake of Aladdin.


Smith took a break from giving us chicken soup for our souls with his inspirational Instagram posts to show us a sneak peak of the movie’s poster. Aladdin is scheduled to hit theaters May 24, 2019.

The role was originally voiced and made famous by the late Robin Williams in Disney’s 1992 animated film and Smith has some large shoes to fill. Growing up, I always assumed every character who was “of color” in any animated film was actually black, so I’m sure Big Willy will meet my and your expectations in this live-action remake.

Will you get jiggy with it?

Chief Beyoncé Content Officer @ TheRoot. I aspire to be as steadfast & unmovable as Solange's wig. Former President of Hogwart's Black Student Union.

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Cue the fragile Branigin’s screed from yesterday wherein she tried to tear down the seemingly unstoppable Dwayne Johnson for not being black enough in her eyes to play John Henry. I wonder what she thinks. She got her clicks and page views, so that is what is really important here. That said, I fully expect ridiculous questions to arise, such as:

Is Will magical enough for the role? He is not the late Robin Williams, so is he white enough? Is he Dead enough? Are there black genies? Aladdin is based upon an Arabian tale, so is he Arabic enough?

More importantly, what sort of outrage should we be collectively channeling and infighting about today?

My bowl of popcorn is at the ready for whatever Will wants to serve up, so hopefully he will knock this out of the park.