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Aladdin Genie
Credit: Disney

Will Smith Confirmed as Genie in ‘Aladdin’ Sequel After Controversial Oscars Slap

In 2019, Walt Disney Studios released its latest animated-turned-live-action film, Aladdin. The film starred Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Jasmine, Marwan Kenzari as Jafar, and Will Smith as the Genie. Smith’s casting was a controversial choice, as Aladdin fans were worried that Smith wouldn’t be able to embrace the Genie as well as Robin Williams had. Williams voiced the Genie in the original animated film. However, Smith took the Genie and made it his own, impressing fans and adding to the success of the film.

Aladdin

Credit: Disney

While it was assumed that all the actors would return for any potential sequel, that assumption was thrown into chaos after Will Smith assaulted a fellow actor. During the 2022 Academy Awards, comedian Chris Rock was presenting and made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Will Smith then walked up on the stage and slapped Rock across the face. Smith then returned to his seat and screamed obscenities at Rock. After an investigation, the Academy announced that Smith would be banned from the Oscars for ten years.

Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock in the Face

Credit: ABC

As tensions were still high, many wondered if Disney would want to work with Smith again. There was a lot of speculation that he would not be invited back for any potential Aladdin sequel and that Disney was even looking into replacing him with Dwayne Johnson, who had just starred in the hit Disney film, Jungle Cruise. However, it seems that all that speculation was for naught.

Will Smith genie Aladdin

Credit: Disney

According to a report from The Sun, Disney is planning on bringing Smith back as the Genie, ad his role will be even bigger than it was in the first film.

I’m told he is set to return as Genie, playing an even bigger part than he did in the first film.

The script is, loosely based on the One Thousand And One Nights series of Middle Eastern folk tales, is being written, with hopes that filming could begin at the end of the year.

A movie insider said: “This would be one of the first movies Will has shot since the Oscars slap and it is quite surprising, given that it will be for a kids’ film.

“He has done a lot of work on himself and the consensus is that it will all be very much in the past by the time the movie is released.

“The first film was a huge success so it would be silly not to make another, and it would be a real shame to have to re-cast Will over what happened.

“So Disney is keen to stand by him and bring him back into the fold.”

Disney Genie Will Smith

Credit: Disney

At this time, Disney has not announced if a sequel script is in the works. Star Mena Massoud recently said that he does not know if Disney will greenlight the sequel, but if they do, it will not be like the animated sequel — The Return of Jafar. Massoud said writers would make an entirely new story based on parts of Arabian Nights. Aladdin is currently available to stream on Disney+.

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