The first stills of Disney's upcoming live-action remake of its 1992 animated classic Aladdin were unveiled by Entertainment Weekly this morning.
One problem Ritchie said he had to tackle was who would play the iconic character of Genie, played by the great Robin Williams, who died in 2014.
Of course, this new film features Will Smith as Genie, with Mena Massoud as Aladdin and Naomi Scott as Jasmine.
Ritchie said one of the remarkable things about the Genie role "is that it's essentially a hyberbole for who that individual actor is, so it’s a wonderful platform and tapestry for an actor to fill his boots on."
Smith told EW that the "flavor" of his Genie "would be different enough and unique enough that it would be in a different lane" than Williams' portrayal, so fans of the original don't have to worry about the actor trying to compete with the animated film's memorable performance.
Although Smith said he can't re-create the magic that Robin Williams brough us, fans online already have gone in on Smith, questioning wtf is going on with his Genie.
Some people thought that Will Smith's voice wouldn't actually be on screen and rather that he was just lending his voice.
After seeing the uproar online, Smith came to the rescue to clear the air and confirm the Genie IS actually going to be blue! On Instagram he wrote: "BAM!! First look at the Genie 🧞♂️, Princess Jasmine, and #Aladdin! Check Me Rockin’ the Top Knot Ponytail Vibes in @entertainmentweekly 😆 (and yes, I’m gonna be BLUE! :-) This is how the Genie is in Human / Disguise Form. My character will be CGI most of the movie.)"