12:00pm PT by Mia Galuppo
Will Smith in Talks to Play Genie in Live-Action 'Aladdin'
Guy Ritchie may have found his Genie.
Will Smith is in early talks for the magical, musical role in the live-action adaptation of Aladdin.
The Genie role was voiced by the late Robin Williams in the original 1992 animated film, which was part of Disney’s animation renaissance and retold the Middle East-set folk tale of a young man granted three wishes by a genie trapped in a lamp and the evil sorcerer who covets the magical object.
Smith was previously in talks with Tim Burton about the live-action Dumbo movie, but a deal never materialized due to scheduling. The actor had been trying to juggle that project and Bad Boys 3, but with the latter now off the table temporarily due to a loss of a director, Smith may have more wiggle room in that department. He remains a high-salary player, so a deal is far from a sure thing.
Dan Lin, who was a producer on the Sherlock Holmes movies for Warner Bros., is producing what Disney says will be an ambitious and nontraditional take on Aladdin via his Lin Pictures banner. Jonathan Eirich will executive produce the movie and oversee it for Lin Pictures.
If a deal is made, Smith's casting would be the first big role filled for the Ritchie film, which is currently amid a worldwide casting search for its two leads.