Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ Prequel Movie Upsets Fans Of Robin Williams

An Aladdin prequel movie is one of Disney’s next big live-action projects. Unfortunately for fans of Aladdin and Princess Jasmine, they probably won’t appear in the new film.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Disney is revisiting its 1992 animated classic, but its latest live-action movie is going to focus solely on Aladdin’s beloved blue pal. The new film will tell the story of how Genie ended up imprisoned in Aladdin’s lamp, so the wish-granter probably won’t be blue, and he’ll likely have legs instead of that ghost-like tail. Unfortunately, Genie also won’t have Robin Williams’ voice or the late actor’s knack for doing impressions of everyone from Rodney Dangerfield to Jack Nicholson.

Little has been revealed about the Aladdin prequel, but the Irish Examiner pointed out that it’s already upsetting fans of the animated film. Those who grew up with the original just can’t imagine anyone but Robin Williams voicing Aladdin’s very funny friend.

The Aladdin prequel will be titled Genies, which seems to imply that it will focus on more than one lamp-dweller. It will reveal the backstory of Aladdin’s genie, and it’s going to introduce fans to “a whole new world” — most of it will reportedly be set in “the realm of the genies.” Disney is also planning to remake the original Aladdin as a follow-up film, so fans will eventually get to meet live-action versions of Princess Jasmine and Prince Ali.

Even though many fans are upset about Disney making an Aladdin movie without Robin Williams, it could be a good thing that the House of Mouse is recasting the character for the live-action film. Genie is seemingly of Middle Eastern descent, so Williams definitely didn’t look right for the live-action role. And as the Gloss reports, Disney has already been criticized for failing to cast any Middle Eastern actors in its Broadway production of Aladdin— surely the company has learned from that mistake. If Disney doesn’t want to be accused of white-washing, it had better search for an Arab actor to play Genie. It also might be a smart idea to avoiding casting Emma Stone as Princess Jasmine, no matter how much everyone loves her.

The Aladdin sequel could become a potential headache for Disney if it’s done wrong, but, if it’s done right, curious fans of the original and their families will likely flock to theaters to learn Genie’s origin story. The only hint Genie provided about his past in the original movie was that he’d been trapped in the lamp for 10,000 years. However, Disney dropped a pretty big clue about what became of Genie after he was freed from Aladdin’s lamp. According to Screencrush, Robin Williams also voiced the merchant who tells Aladdin’s story in the animated movie. Disney originally planned on revealing that Genie and the merchant were one and the same. However, this big reveal was cut due to time constraints. Perhaps Genie was a merchant before he became imprisoned.

Genies isn’t the only intriguing live-action project Disney has in the pipeline. The House of Mouse is also working on a retelling of Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson, a Tinker Bell movie starring Reese Witherspoon, and a Prince Charming film told from the male hero’s point of view.

Are you looking forward to the Aladdin prequel or any of Disney’s other live-action movies, or do you think that it needs to leave the classics alone?

[Image credit: Disney]