Will Smith released on his YouTube channel, the first real trailer for Disney's live action Aladdin movie! I still have my reservations about Smith playing the Genie...the more and more I watch it and talk to fellow Aladdin fans and those familiar with Will Smith, the more apparent it is that it's Will Smith playing himself, only as a Genie...a fellow friend of mine pointed out that "at least he's not trying to be Robin Williams as the Genie, he's trying to make it his own". That is true...but does "his own" just mean "himself"? Is that a fair representation of the character of the Genie?
As I've stated before, and clearly Smith understands, Robin William's Genie can not be duplicated. It was William's ad-libbing various aspects of the character and that was his take on the character. The question we have to ask ourselves is whether Robin himself mastered the role that we all cherish and idolize or do we unfairly not even give anyone else a chance like Smith to make the character his own because Robin's version holds a special place in our hearts? Whatever your take on the matter, to real Disney fans and lovers of Aladdin, they know that the Genie is not just about being Mr. Cool. Sure, he's a larger than life character filled with power (literally), but he has more depth to him than just being cool and flashy. Underneath all the pzazz, the Genie actually has a vulnerable side. As I've stated previously in other blogs, the Genie puts out a front of being this cool, slick, powerful figure and he is all that, but it's partly a front to cover up the fact that what he wants more than anything in life, is a real friend. He gets that for the first time with Aladdin. Aladdin is the first person to see him as more than just a genie who can grant him wishes. He sees him as a being in itself who is worthy of friendship and worthy to be set free and live his own life. If Smith can showcase the genie's vulnerable side too while putting on this cool persona, they he'll deliver a winning performance.
So far the trailer hasn't shown me anything new regarding the Genie's depth as a character. I'm hoping in the film he dives deeper into the character and the vulnerability that is within. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. I'm trying to be open-minded about the whole film seeing as how Aladdin is in my top 3 favorite Disney movies. I will give it a fair chance and not dismiss it.