That’s right, Will Smith could be playing the genie in a live-action iteration of Aladdin.
Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, Sherlock Holmes) is set to direct a live-action version of Aladdin for Disney, the studio currently celebrating another win with their live-action Beauty and the Beast raking over $US1billion worldwide. It’s been pretty quiet since it was announced Ritchie would direct, that is until now.
Deadline is reporting that Smith is currently in talks to take on the role of Genie, although the outlet does point out these talks are early. There are a number of things to consider, including Smith’s fees and the fact that production on the film is scheduled to run for six months in the UK. Disney has been eyeing Smith for a while now and was reportedly looking at the actor for a role in Tim Burton’s Dumbo film.
If cast, Smith could be one of just a handful of famous faces to be starring in the film. Disney began an open casting call this month, calling for Middle Eastern actors in the 18 to 25 age range to audition for the lead roles of Aladdin and Jasmine.
Big Fish scribe John August has penned the screenplay for this new Aladdin, which, as with the new Beauty and the Beast, will be a live-action musical.
Next up for Smith is David Ayer’s crime-fantasy film Bright, which is set to hit Netflix in December. Ritchie’s Arthur: Legend of the Sword, starring Charlie Hunnam and Jude Law, arrives in Australia on May 11 and opens in the US on May 12.