‘Aladdin’: First look at Disney’s 2019 live-action version

It’s a whole new world, all right.

On Wednesday morning, Disney released its first images from its 2019 live-action remake of 1992 animated classic Aladdin, and the internet was abuzz with hot takes and opinions.

British director Guy Ritchie is taking the reins this time around, and Canadian actor Mena Massoud will play the titular role. The most talked-about aspect online is the new Genie, played by Will Smith and originally made famous by late actor Robin Williams.

For those unaware, the movie’s plot follows a young man (Aladdin) who lives on the street, and he comes into possession of a lamp that, when rubbed, unleashes the Genie, who’s been imprisoned for thousands of years.

Along the way, he falls in love with Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott), enlists the Genie’s help to make him a prince and win her heart — all while running afoul of the sorcerer Jafar (Marwan Kenzari).

The majority of commenters are negative about Smith, and generally about the whole idea of the Aladdin reboot.

Many of the comments focus specifically on Smith’s hair and skin colour — while his hair is an exact mimicry, the original animated Genie was blue-skinned — and it turns out people have strong opinions about this remake.

“The great thing about the role of the Genie is that it’s essentially a hyperbole for who that individual actor is, so it’s a wonderful platform and tapestry for an actor to fill his boots on,” said Ritchie to EW. “So in stepped one of the funniest forces in entertainment: Will Smith.”

“Whenever you’re doing things that are iconic, it’s always terrifying,” said Smith about playing the role. “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.”

Disney is going all-out in 2019, bringing back the beloved Lion King as well.

Aladdin will be in theatres across Canada on May 24, 2019.

To see more pictures and for the full feature on ‘Aladdin,’ visit EW.

— With files from Jesse Ferreras

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