Recently Will Smith turned down the opportunity to take a major role in Tim Burton’s live-action take on Dumbo. However, it turns out that might have been because he had a different Disney role in mind, as he’s in talks to voice the Genie in the studio’s planned live-action version of Aladdin, according to Deadline.
He’s very early in talks at the moment, so he may end up walking away from the role, as he did with Dumbo, but at the moment he’s the one in the frame. If he does take the role, he’ll have big shoes to fill, as Robin Williams take on the the lamp-living Genie is one of the greatest Disney characters. Although Smith can be good a larger-than-life comedy characters, it’s still a major challenge.
John August is on screenplay duties, with Guy Ritchie set to direct. At the moment, no one has been announced for the title role, although it has been said that after numerous controversy over white-washing in movies in recent years, that Disney is looking a lead actors who have Arabian heritage. We’ll have to wait and see who they choose.
Justin Kroll from Variety also posted that Kevin Hart was approached by Disney.