Disney's Reaction To Will Smith's Genie After A Long Silence and Fans' Controversial Reviews
There has been a really serious controversy since the world found out about Disney's remake of the 1992 classic 'Aladdin.' Last December, we got a sneak peek of the cast and the production through the teaser trailer and the cover of Entertainment Weekly.
However, fans were not so happy about the film, mainly when it came to Will Smith's Genie. Surprisingly enough, one of the most beloved characters in the imminent production received some harsh criticism from the general public.
But with the House of the Mouse lifting the lid off the second trailer of the upcoming movie some days ago, Disney also broke the silence and spoke up about the Genie debacle. Get to know all the intriguing details surrounding the statement in the following article.
Around four months ago, Disney unveiled the first teaser of the live-action 'Aladdin.' With some instrumental and Arabian music in the back, the first glimpse did not give away much apart from the dunes as the particular setting of the movie.
We also got a look at Jafar's parrot, the Cave of Wonders, and the fabled lamp, but the Genie remained under wraps. The wait lasted a couple of months until February 11, according to Digital Spy, when we got to see the Blue Genie in all his splendor in the second trailer of the reboot.
In this one, visions of Egyptian Mena Massoud's Aladdin and Naomi Scott's Jasmine were included. There were also some sweeping shorts of Agrabah and a part that showed the infamous Grand Vizier Jafar, played by Marwan Kenzari.
But most importantly, the footage exposed Will Smith's Blue Genie in his glittering Cave of Wonders with loads of gold jewelry on it, blue skin, a ponytail, and a pointed goatee, which was too much to fans' dismay. It turns out that the trailer created an intense stir among the audience, and here's why.
THE REASON BEHIND WILL SMITH'S GENIE CRITICISM
To understand what is really going on with the actor and his new character, we have to go back to December 2018, when Entertainment Weekly released the promo photos of 'Aladdin' and its cast. The cover shot was graced by the star trio of the production: Massoud and Scott as the beloved carpet-flying couple and, of course, Smith as the mystical blue being.
But according to E! Online, fans had a lot to say about the cover, starting with some negative comments about the magical character's hairdo. Media users compared it to Madonna's iconic ponytail in the 80s, Mortal Kombat's Goro, and even singer Ariana Grande.
Others were not so thrilled with the costume, stating that it looked like taken straight from a Party City shop. And to top it all off, we have the fact that the Blue Genie was not actually blue. According to Daily Mail, some netizens expressed their concerns over the skin color of the Genie.
The main argument was that it is not so hard to make a character blue these days, so it was hard for them to understand why he was not blue. The outcry of the public was so loud that Will Smith took to Instagram to address the issue.
The famous actor published the cover of the magazine on his Instagram and explained that he was going to be blue. In his statement, Smith said that the controversial picture showed the Genie in his human/disguise form, but he asserted that his character would be CGI most of the movie.
THE RECENT BACKLASH
And Will's promise was fulfilled with the second footage of the film, but he still did not convince fans. The recent teaser did show the Fresh Prince star in his blue glory, with a skin which resembled that of a Smurf. Moreover, the character was way larger than his human counterpart.
But all that made fans feel terrified, with that image burnt forever in their minds. As Looper reported, a high number of people had a say regarding the wish-granting being. The New York Times' Kyle Buchanan detailed his horror at the sight of the 'Hitch' actor's new character in a Twitter post. The pop culture reporter claimed:
"The Will Smith genie makes me feel the same way I feel when a celebrity dies: Nauseous, sad, and like I can't wait to tell everybody about it."
Countless people also compared the figure to 'Arrested Development's Tobias Fünke when he was auditioning for the Blue Man Group. The relations even reached other blue-skinned personalities in pop culture such as Na'vi from 'Avatar' and Mystique from the 'X-Men.'
Ian Hecox of Smosh Fame truly believed that the trailer was a marketing troll Disney had cleverly concocted and that the character won't truly look like that. "Man, I just can't believe this can possibly be the real thing. I just can't," he added. In a nutshell, for everyone, Smith's CGI Genie looked odd, and many Disney followers were put off by the sight of the character.
SOME ADVOCATES OF THE GENIE
And let's be honest, Will Smith has some pretty big shoes to fill in because everybody remembers the fantastic Robin Williams in the original movie, and that is an incredibly high standard. So it is more than understandable that the world wants the new Genie to be flawless.
The production is called 'Aladdin,' but it seems that the eyes of the world are on the Genie of the Lamp more than the scrappy street rat that falls in love with a royal. Director Raha Gosnell appears to agree with this idea since he narrated to USA Today the criticism he faced with his 2011 film, 'The Smurfs.'
"We didn't have the Twitter world back then that we have now, thank God. But that unveiling was met with levels of horror and gnashing of teeth by the online community. There is always going to be some sort of outcry by the keyboard warriors. It was going to be the same thing with the blue Genie from Aladdin."
WHAT THE MOUSE HOUSE HAS TO SAY
Amidst the contention that the blue figure caused, the company that created it hadn't said a word, until now. The silence that Disney had for a while only sparked more gossips that producers might have been ashamed of the negative feedback or that were having second thoughts about the design of the Genie.
Nevertheless, the company came forward through a statement some days about it that USA Today released. "We have one of the most anticipated films of the year and are confident that audiences will fall in love with the Genie and all of the characters when it hits the big screen this May," said the studio.
It is clear that the remake has a lot to live up to, and so does notably Smith. But we can be sure that Disney will do all it takes to make the live-action Genie as splendid and astonishing as everyone remembers the original one, using all its creative power to satisfy fans.
THE ACTOR'S WORDS
Even the very same Will Smith opened up to talk about his most recent role describing it as a mix of Hitch and the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. The Hollywood star also said the character was a tribute to Williams but "different enough and unique enough that it would be in a different lane versus trying to compete." During his conversation with EW, he also claimed:
"Whenever you're doing things that are iconic, it's always terrifying … I watched the movie a few times, I saw where Robin Williams infused the character with a timeless version of himself, so I said to myself, 'What if I just infuse the character with a timeless version of myself?'"
Moreover, Smith is confident that this version of the Genie with hip-hop flares will be of great enjoyment for all audiences. He considers himself lucky for having the opportunity of portraying such a beloved character, so he's tapping into each of his talents to sing, rap, dance, and act in comedy and drama scenes to make it memorable.
It seems that we won't have to wait for that much to find out whether the upcoming production will meet the expectations of the general public. The release will take place on May 24, which is over the Memorial Day weekend. This means that the movie will have its debut on one of the most desired frames of the year.
Why, you would ask? Well, it turns out that on that weekend, families splash out on outings as if it was a sin to have a full wallet. Therefore, it is very likely a trendy target will be the theaters. Plus, we're talking about a Disney movie, so it is implausible it ends up being a flop.
Perhaps, the world is unfairly judging Will Smith's Genie of the Lamp since he could be yet another character the world will fall in love with. Disney certainly has the resources to produce a fantastic movie, and the actor undoubtedly has the talent to make it happen as well. Surely enough, the film will take us to "a whole new world."
Now, we would love to know what you think about Smith's character and if you believe the movie will be a big-box success or a complete fiasco. So don't forget to drop a message in the comment section and stay tuned with us. We have more fantastic articles about the most popular movies for you! See you next time!