Disney has unveiled the first look of its upcoming live-action Aladdin remake, and fans are quite taken aback by Will Smith’s Genie - who isn’t the CGI character everyone expected him to be.
The pictures were released as part of an Entertainment Weekly spread, and also provide first looks at Mena Massoud as Aladdin and Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine.
The film was under great scrutiny during its casting and production, mostly regarding its treatment of ethnic actors. While Massoud’s casting was appreciated, the decision to cast the British Scott as a Middle Eastern character was questioned. The film attracted further controversy when it was reported that several white extras were made to look Middle Eastern.
Sharing the pictures on Twitter, Massoud wrote, “Who would have thought... a street rat on the cover of @EW.” Smith, sharing the first look on Instagram, assured fans that he was going to be blue in the film.
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A post shared by Will Smith (@willsmith) on Dec 19, 2018 at 5:28am PST