Will Smith / Genie
A month after it was announced that he was in talks to co-star in a live-action film adaptation of” Dumbo” for director Tim Burton, Will Smith opted to pass on the project due to scheduling and salary concerns, as we reported on this blog in January.
The production is still moving forward, however – just without Mr. Smith.
The actor was said to be Disney’s top choice to star in the family film that is based on the 1941 animation about a big-eared circus elephant. Should he have signed on, Smith would’ve played a key role as the father of children who form a bond with Dumbo. Tom Hanks was also offered a role as the film’s villain.
Now Mr. Smith is in talks to co-star in yet another live-action Disney staple, "Aladdin," which will be directed by Guy Ritchie. Should Smith sign on, he'll play the role of the powerful, benevolent Genie.
In October 2016, it was reported that Disney was developing a live-action adaptation of "Aladdin" with John August writing the script, which will retain the musical elements of the original film, and will have a diverse cast, said producer Dan Lin.
Thus far, Smith is the only name that has come up in terms of potential cast members. And since it'll be a musical, we suspect he'll likely be a rapping genie, unless Smith has an incredible singing voice we're not aware of.
Filming is supposed to kick off in the U.K. in July.
"Aladdin" is a Disney media franchise comprising a film series and additional media. The success of the original 1992 American animated feature of the same name led to two direct-to-video sequels, a television show, a Broadway musical, various rides and themed areas in Disney's parks, several video games, merchandise, and more.
Up next for Smith is the crime/fantasy/sci-fi movie “Bright,” which is set for a December release, via Netflix.
Deadline was first to report the news of Will Smith being in talks.