Films

Aladdin producer wasnt expecting so much backlash for Will Smith taking on Robin Williams iconic Genie role

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Will Smiths genie was originally not blue like the Robin Williams version (Picture: Rex)

Aladdins producer Dan Lin, has opened up about the backlash the live-action movie suffered after Will Smith took on the iconic role of Genie.

The character was originally played by the late Robin Williams in the cartoon version of the film which came out in 1992, and was a hard act to follow after being so synonymous with Genie.

Many fans who grew up with the original Aladdin were less than impressed when the first images were released, and Genie wasnt blue like before.

Dan explained: Ill be honest, we did not expect the amount of backlash that we actually got.

I feel like it really became part of the popular culture, when were on the news with people talking about how the Genie looked.

He added to ScreenRant: We never expected that kind of reaction. But, certainly, we expected some kind of backlash.

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Robin, who passed away in 2014, had brought the much-loved character to life in the Disney cartoon, and fans were having trouble accepting someone else in the role.

Will Smith as genie in Aladdin
Genie was made to be blue again in the final version of the live action remake (Picture: Warner bros)

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Dan added: Given that hes an iconic character – Robin Williams created a character that everyone loved in their childhood.

Naturally when you take that character and turn it into a real-life live action character, its going to bump some people. But we did not expect the reaction we got.

Thankfully, Will was able to see the funny side of all of the memes the live-action Genie spawned, explaining: It was very funny. There was a Sonic The Hedgehog / Genie frog.

Disney's Aladdin was released in 1992
Robin Williams portrayal of Genie in the 1992 cartoon was iconic (Picture: Disney)

Everything is under such critical scrutiny. I came up in an era where there was no internet. Its a new thing that Im trying to get a handle on.

Will also revealed that he was terrified to take on the role after Robin had made it his own, but decided to honour Robin with his portrayal.

He said earlier this year: I was terrified doing the Genie after Robin Williams. But I found a lane that pays homage. It is my own thing, you know? So, I think people are going to love it.

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The film was released in May and despite the backlash it topped the UK box office for four weeks, the longest of any film of 2019 so far.

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