Although he didn’t end up signing on for Disney and Tim Burton’s live-action Dumbo movie earlier this year, it looks like Will Smith is now about to finalize a deal for a different Disney project. We are hearing that Smith is circling one of the lead roles in their upcoming live-action remake of Aladdin, which is being directed by Guy Ritchie (no, seriously). Although Smith has had some trouble delivering big box office hits on his own as of late, working with Disney is about a safe a bet as they come these days. Hit the jump for more details.
According to Deadline, Will Smith is in early talks to play the genie role in Disney’s upcoming live-action Aladdin project. This is one of many, many live-action adaptations currently in the works at Disney, including several from the so-called Disney Renaissance such as The Lion King, The Little Mermaid and Mulan. The movie will be directed by Guy Ritchie from a script written by John August (Big Fish) with production expected to start sometime in July.
Will Smith obviously has some big shoes to fill considering that the late Robin Williams voiced Genie in the animated version of Aladdin, but I suppose that would be why Disney is looking at a major A-list star for the role. The movie is expected to be a musical just like the 1992 film, although many of these live-action movies seem to be scaling back on that element of the originals. Smith was known as a musician long before he became an actor, although he is not really a singer per se. It will be interesting to see if they change up the musical style to suit his skills. What do you think of this potential casting choice?