We are finally getting a look at Will Smith‘s Genie in Aladdin.
The actor and his co-stars Naomi Scott and Mena Massoud appear in character on the cover of the new issue of Entertainment Weekly. While Smith was kept in a bottle for the first teaser trailer for the Walt Disney live-action remake, which comes out May 24, he’s out and in his genie regalia. Smith wears a beaded jacket, cuffs and other jewelry, but what stands out the most, at first look, is his hair. In addition to a long goatee, he has a ponytail atop his otherwise bald noggin with a metal band around it.
That isn’t the only thing people are taking note of. As the first wave of internet reactions roll in, many are freaking out that Smith isn’t, ya know, blue.
I’ve been saving this reaction photo for months for the Will Smith Genie reveal and now I’ve found out they won’t even be making him blue. You can’t rely on ANYONE pic.twitter.com/6rdAoDMUkc
— Blake © ™ ® (@NeilNevins) December 19, 2018
To the point where he was even given a blue makeover.
However, director Guy Ritchie explained to EW that the final version of Smith in his blue floating lamp form isn’t done yet. So, yes, he will be blue. And Smith hopped on social on Wednesday to confirm his blueness is coming.
In the EW article, Ritchie teased what Smith will look like in that form, saying, “I wanted a muscular 1970s dad. He was big enough to feel like a force — not so muscular that he looked like he was counting his calories, but formidable enough to look like you knew when he was in the room.”
The magazine reports that Smith tapped into his 1990s roles (Independence Day, Bad Boys and, yes, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) to inspire his Genie. One Disney exec told EW that Will’s Genie is part Fresh Prince and part Hitch. For his part, Smith said, “I think it’ll stand out as unique even in the Disney world. There hasn’t been a lot of that hip-hop flavor in Disney history.”
People have strong feelings about Smith’s Genie hair as well after the EW reveal. For his part, Smith noted via Instagram that he’s “rockin’ the top knot ponytail vibes.”
But seriously, what is up with Will Smith's genie hair???? 🤷♀️ pic.twitter.com/e8Rjiz0TRq
— Emily Murray (@EmilyVMurray) December 19, 2018
— Jason Carlos (@jaarlos) December 19, 2018
they just gave will smith sinbad's hair to make him a genie thats not how it works https://t.co/dlswxN6NL0
— Hayden Weihl (@mynamenotrex) December 19, 2018
When they said Will Smith will be Genie in the movie I thought as a voice actor ! I didn’t expect to see Will Smith himself with a ponytail 😐
— LUREX (@LUREX_07) December 19, 2018
Not sure how I feel about the Genie here. It may work on Broadway but I don’t know if it will feel right on screen. I understand the need by Disney to have Will Smith looking like himself for promoting the film. Will see how it turns out as the trailer excites me.#Aladdin pic.twitter.com/n6B2vaRbYL
— Kenan Akbulut (@KenanAkbulut) December 19, 2018
Don't know how I feel about the look of the genie. Might grow on me, but honestly just looks like Will Smith being goofy.
— MovieCanyon (@RealMovieCanyon) December 19, 2018
Others are just trying to keep people in check. After all, Smith is playing a genie, folks.
sorry what exactly did you think will smith as a genie was gonna look like
— Steve Kandell (@SteveKandell) December 19, 2018
In the EW article, Smith also talked about this Genie, who will obviously be compared with Robin Williams’s unforgettable version in the 1992 animated version of the film.
“Whenever you’re doing things that are iconic, it’s always terrifying,” Smith said. “The question is always: Where was there meat left on the bone? Robin didn’t leave a lot of meat on the bone with the character.”
However, if Williams “infused the character with a timeless version of himself,” Smith said, then he wanted to do the same thing. “I started to feel confident that I could deliver something that was an homage to Robin Williams but was musically different,” he says. “Just the flavor of the character would be different enough and unique enough that it would be in a different lane, versus trying to compete.”
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