When the news broke that Disney was releasing a live-action remake of Aladdin, the Middle East rejoiced.
Everyone knows the story of Aladdin; the Arabic tale of a street boy who is granted three wishes after freeing a genie from a lamp and Princess Jasmine, who’s sick of palace life and yearning for a bit of excitement. So many of us grew up with this!
Will Smith revealed he’s playing the role of the genie to his 26+ million followers, alongside British actress of Indian descent Naomi Scott who plays Jasmine and Egyptian born Canadian actor Mena Massoud who’s playing Aladdin.
‘BAM!! First look at the Genie ????♂️, Princess Jasmine, and #Aladdin! Check Me Rockin’ the Top Knot Ponytail Vibes in @entertainmentweekly ???? (and yes, I’m gonna be BLUE! 🙂 This is how the Genie is in Human / Disguise Form. My character will be CGI most of the movie.)’
Smith acknowledged that this is NOT what he will look like in the movie and that his character will mostly be CGI
People expected a blue-faced Aladdin and were quick to criticise when Smith released this cover.
While many others took to Twitter to blast the choice of Guy Ritchie as director and Naomi Scott as Jasmine, suggesting an Arab actress might have been a better choice.
Will Smiths first look as Genie in the new live action Aladdin is really messing up the start of my day! pic.twitter.com/n9j3mesl4a
— Tez Aftab (@murTEZaaftab) December 20, 2018
People grew up with this movie and opinions are strong
Guy Ritchie shouldn’t have directed Aladdin and Naomi Scott shouldn’t have played Jasmine. The chance should have been given to Arabs in the industry. There are plenty that want the chance to do anything not related to terrorism. And even that shizz you’re giving to Lena Dunham.
— OscarsNeverArab (@Cre8tvlyLicnsd) December 20, 2018
While Scott fans have come out in support
— KaityUniverse (@kaityuniverse) December 19, 2018
‘She looks perfect as Jasmine’
— Natasha Martinez (@Natashalexis_) December 19, 2018
Man, all this talk about Aladdin makes me really miss Robin Williams
— Ross Butler (@RossButler) December 19, 2018
#aladdin is trending and everything’s a talking point
Yo can we talk about how un-poor Aladdin looks? Man got the brand new butters on. pic.twitter.com/AAkWkyLqLt
— Te’ La Soul (@DanteJK90) December 19, 2018
The remake is cause for much debate
i’m a big fan of the Lion King and Aladdin remakes because I always think things should look like real things, and not drawings of things. Will Smith? he’s real, and I think that’s great. that other genie? that was just some artist lying to you.
— Moloch-André Fleury (@alex_navarro) December 19, 2018
Here for this
— coloricioso (@coloricioso) December 20, 2018
So much Aladdin slander on my timeline. They’ve literally posted ONE PIC SHEESH
— Timothy DeLaGhetto (@TimothyDeLaG) December 19, 2018
More images were released and many are just excited for to see the movie
— Ken (@thehorrorken) December 20, 2018