Aladdin live-action reboot wants Will Smith for The Genie

Could Will Smith be playing The Genie in Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin?

It’s been a while since we heard anything about Disney’s live-action reboot of Aladdin, which will be directed by Guy Ritchie, but a big name is circling The Genie.

Deadline reports that none other than Will Smith is in early talks to play the role which was immortalised by the great Robin Williams.

Smith had previously been linked to Tim Burton’s Dumbo but it looks like he could be heading for Aladdin instead, although Deadline notes that “these talks are also early.”

The casting choice would seem to make sense: motor-mouth, charisma, general awesomeness. We’ll be interested to see if anything comes of these early, early talks. Apparently the long, six-month production could be an issue, especially as it’s due to start shooting in July. There’s still no word on when Warner Bros want to get rolling on Suicide Squad 2 yet, though, and his commitments to Deadshot and the Skwad could conceivably have an impact on his decision.

Ritchie’s new Aladdin is written by John August (Big Fish, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory) “based on the 1992 animated classic and follows the story of Aladdin and Princess Jasmine after the commoner Aladdin finds a magic lamp and, upon shining it up, a genie is released from being trapped inside. The bigger-than-life genie then grants Aladdin three wishes.”

Disney’s live-action reboots have been, as the site notes, a goddam goldmine for the studio. Beauty & The Beast was a monster smash, but it seems like the incredible success of Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book was the real watershed moment. Dumbo, Mulan, The Lion King, Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid and Pinocchio are all in development, while they’re also working on new versions of 101 Dalmatians and Mary Poppins.

Aladdin does not currently have a release date. Keep up with the latest genre news with the new issue of SciFiNow.