Disney is working its way through a roster of live-action remakes of its classic animated movies, and “Aladdin” is next on deck.
Following the release of a new trailer during Sunday night’s Grammy Awards, people are feeling dubious about the choice to do a live-action cast with a CGI version of Will Smith as the iconic blue Genie.
First, there were the mixed reactions on Twitter, where people found the Genie either horrifying or just downright uncanny.
The official Disney tweet of the new video was met with a largely negative reaction, too.
The YouTube video for the new teaser was also met with mixed reactions from users there.
“Seeing Will Smith as Genie made me miss Robin Williams even more,” one top-voted comment reads. Others said the Genie looked very “different” but they were willing to give him a chance.
“Ohhh lord this looks questionable,” the third-highest comment, from BicLightersOnly, says.
In December 2018, Entertainment Weekly published an exclusive first look at set photos from the coming movie. Will Smith’s Genie wasn’t blue in those images — instead he looked like, well, Will Smith in a costume. The actor posted the EW cover on Instagram, assuring fans he would be blue in the movie.
At the time, many people were disappointed to see the Genie without his familiar blue hue. But now that we have a look at the new blue Genie in action, reactions are more mixed than ever.
It wasn’t all bad news for Disney, though. Many people were thrilled to see the friendly Carpet at Aladdin’s side and Raja the tiger strutting behind Princess Jasmine.
Fans’ strong feelings for Genie’s character could be due to the emotional link between Disney’s animated movie and the original actor behind the Genie: Robin Williams. The actor died by suicide in 2014 when he was 63 years old.
“Aladdin,” directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine and Mena Massoud as Aladdin, arrives in theaters on May 24.