Disney has released the first TV spot for its upcoming live-action remake of Aladdin, directed by Guy Ritchie, and it offers our first look at Will Smith as Genie. Mena Massoud stars as the street-rat-with-a-heart-of-gold Aladdin, with Naomi Scott as the beautiful and determined Princess Jasmine. The movie will feature a new repertoire of songs by Alan Menken and La La Land songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Menken originally collaborated with Howard Ashman and Tim Rice for the music in the 1992 animated version).
This is the first big debut of the new Genie design and it’s…weird? There’s either too much CGI or too little CGI used on Will Smith here, and the ultimate effect is something right out of the uncanny valley. Granted, visual effects are likely not yet compete so there’s still work to be done, and bringing something as fluid and cartoony as Robin Williams‘ iteration to life in a live-action film is a tough task. But still, this isn’t necessarily encouraging. And I say this as someone who’s been an ardent defender of Ritchie’s last couple of fun-filled blockbusters.
See for yourself in the Aladdin TV spot below. The film opens in theaters on May 24, 2019 and also stars Marwan Kenzari as Jafar, Navid Negahban as the Sultan, Nasim Pedrad as Jasmine’s handmaiden, Billy Magnussen as a potential suitor for the Princess, and Numan Acar as Jafar’s right-hand man.
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