Entertainment Weekly gave fans a look at Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” remake Wednesday but not everybody was impressed.
Aladdin (played by Mena Massoud), Jasmine (Naomi Scott), and the Genie (Will Smith) are seen but the latter is receiving the most backlash online.
The Genie is no longer his iconic shade of blue and sports a different hairdo and beard, prompting fans to panic.
Smith attempted to calm fans’ fears about the classic character, explaining in a Facebook post that he will be blue in the final film, and that the images in the EW issue show the Genie in his human disguise.
The explanation didn’t stop the backlash from spreading online, though, with many tweeting their distress about the film.
Director Guy Ritchie spoke to EW about taking on the project, telling the mag: “My skills and experience could add enough to make it feel fresh and worth it but not so much so that it would wash away nostalgia.”
He also said that, because he has five kids, “making a kids’ film was very appealing to me.”
Ritchie added of the Genie: “The great thing about the role of the Genie is that it’s essentially a hyperbole for who that individual actor is, so it’s a wonderful platform and tapestry for an actor to fill his boots on.”
Smith said of the part: “I think it’ll stand out as unique even in the Disney world. There hasn’t been a lot of that hip-hop flavour in Disney history.”
EW says the final version of Smith’s Genie in the film, which is expected to hit theatres May 24, 2019, isn’t quite finished.