Ahead of the release of last year’s Aladdin, the biggest talking point surrounding Disney’s latest blockbuster that remade and monetized the studio’s extensive back catalogue of animated classics for modern audiences, was the appearance of Will Smith’s Genie. Attempting to follow Robin Williams’ iconic turn in the original, which is widely regarded as the finest big screen voice-over performance ever, was going to be a massive challenge even for a star of Smith’s magnitude, and matters weren’t helped by the fact that the unfinished effects in the early trailers made his blue-skinned wish-granter look absolutely terrifying.
Even the team behind Aladdin were shocked at the backlash that greeted the Genie, but when the movie finally hit theaters, the former Fresh Prince turned out to be the best thing about it. Given the popularity of the animated version, Guy Ritchie’s live-action update was always guaranteed to be a success, so the billion dollar box office total didn’t come as much of a surprise, but the reaction from both critics and fans was mixed at best.
Nonetheless, a sequel was officially announced to be in development this week, with Smith and Ritchie set to return alongside Mena Massoud’s title character and Naomi Scott’s Jasmine. Now, the same sources who told the Aladdin sequel was happening last year, well before it was formally revealed, and that a Bambi live-action remake was in the works back in the summer, say that the Mouse House are looking into the idea of giving the Genie his own spinoff.
According to our intel, the pic would take place between the two Aladdin movies, as well as featuring flashbacks to his past before he ever ended up trapped in a magical lamp, presumably in an effort to focus on the actor’s natural charisma and keep the unconvincing CGI to a minimum. Of course, Aladdin was the biggest hit of Smith’s career, which he followed up with another home run in Bad Boys For Life, and surely, the 51 year-old will no doubt be keen to maintain his status at the top of the Hollywood A-list after several years of disappointing critical and commercial returns.