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The First Photos Of Will Smith As Genie In The Live-Action "Aladdin" Were Released And People Aren't Really Thrilled About It

Update: It seems as though Smith's Genie will be blue after all.

Last updated on December 19, 2018, at 10:11 a.m. ET

Posted on December 19, 2018, at 9:33 a.m. ET

The first stills of Disney's upcoming live-action remake of its 1992 animated classic Aladdin were unveiled by Entertainment Weekly on Wednesday morning.

EW / Disney

The film's director, Guy Ritchie, told the outlet that "making a kids' film was very appealing" to him and that his take on the beloved tale would feel "fresh and worth it, but not so much that it would wash away nostalgia."

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.

Though Smith acknowledged he can't re-create the magic Williams did with the role, folks online already have a ton of opinions about his Genie's appearance.

Some thought he looked like Ishboo's (Kenan Thompson) father, played by Sinbad when he guest-starred on All That.

@EW @disneyaladdin @MenaMassoud @NaomiScott Will Smith looking like Ishboo's (@kenanthompson) dad (@sinbadbad) #AllThat

Another tweet compared the look of Smith's Genie to Goro from Mortal Kombat.

Still others were getting Madonna vibes from Genie's hair.

Others were left speechless.

@EW @disneyaladdin @MenaMassoud @NaomiScott

Most of the criticism seems to stem from the fact that Smith isn't blue like in the 1992 animated version.

@EW @DanielRPK @disneyaladdin @MenaMassoud @NaomiScott Will Smith ain't lookin right as Genie

And it seems some assumed that he would voice a CGI character.


"They had one job with the genie..." one person said, using a GIF of the fairy Merryweather from Disney's Sleeping Beauty to drive their point home.

@EW @disneyaladdin @MenaMassoud @NaomiScott They had one job with the genie...

You get the point — people were displeased.

*upon seeing Will Smith as Genie for the first time* #Aladdin

After this post was first published, Smith posted on Instagram to calm concerned fans. "Check Me Rockin’ the Top Knot Ponytail Vibes," he wrote, "(and yes, I’m gonna be BLUE! :-) )."

Since the general public has not seen the film, which hits theaters on May 24, 2019, EW reported that the final version of Smith's Genie isn't yet finished.

"I wanted a muscular 1970s dad," Ritchie said "[Smith] 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."


This post has been updated with Smith's comments that Genie will be blue.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.