Will Smith is in talks to take on the role of The Genie in Disney’s live-action version of ‘Aladdin’.
The ‘Suicide Squad’ actor was originally in negotiations to work on Tim Burton’s new adaptation of ‘Dumbo’, based on the classic 1941 animated family film about the titular big-eared baby elephant who learns to fly in the circus, but those talks fell through.
However, Disney has another plan for 48-year-old Smith and, according to Deadline, the studio is keen for him to take on the comedic character voiced superbly by the late Robin Williams in the beloved 1992 animation.
‘Aladdin’ is to be directed by Guy Ritchie with Sean Bailey – head of motion picture production at Disney – promising the project will be a “highly energised” musical.
‘Charlie and The Chocolate Factory’ writer John August has penned the script, which is believed to be non-linear in its structure, something that is a hallmark of Ritchie’s early work such as cult British crime romp ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’.
‘Aladdin’ will start shooting this summer in the UK and it is rumoured Disney is seeking unknown actors for the lead roles and there will be no whitewashing with producer Dan Lin saying the film will have a “diverse” cast.