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Will Smith being considered for role of Genie in Guy Ritchie-directed live-action film Aladdin

Will Smith may have some big shoes to fill, if he signs up for Disney’s latest project. The Collateral Beauty actor is in talks to play the role of Genie in the live-action film Aladdin, a role previously voiced by the legendary funny man Robin Williams. The remake of the 1992 animated film will be led by Guy Ritchie and according to Deadline, Smith is an early contender for the role of the magical creature trapped in a lamp, who, on being released, offers to make three of Aladdin’s wishes come true and help him win the heart of Princess Jasmine.

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The project, based on a script by John August (Big Fish) is expected to begin filming in the UK this summer and Disney plans to cast lesser known actors for the other lead roles. Producer Dan Lin previously confirmed that the casting would not be whitewashed. “Look at me. (Laughs) I mean I’m not a typical guy. Listen I’m very fortunate working in Hollywood; I am diverse,” he told Collider back in February.

“So when I came in to make the movie, I wanted to make a diverse version of the movie. Luckily for me Guy Ritchie has the same vision and Disney has the same vision, so we’re not here to make Prince of Persia. We want to make a movie that’s authentic to that world.” The Aladdin remake is part of the studio’s new strategy of bringing to life earlier animated hits. Its live-action version of Beauty And The Beast was a big success at the box office, grossing over $1bn (£780m) worldwide.

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Smith was expected to get on board Tim Burton’s Dumbo but the deal reportedly fell through. He recently completed filming for fantasy film Bright. Set in a world where mystical creatures live side by side with humans, a human cop (Smith) is forced to work with an Orc to find a weapon everyone is prepared to kill for. The movie will release in December 2017.

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