...a live action character according to Cinema Blend. Well that's disappointing.
The Genie is such an exaggerated character, the last thing I expected was a live-action, realistic take on the mystical being. And yet, that's exactly what we are going to get, as Disney brought footage from Aladdin to CinemaCon, and we were in the audience.
And then there was Will Smith's Genie... and it wasn't quite what I was expecting. At the start of the Aladdin presentation, it was made crystal clear that Smith is not trying to replicate Robin Williams' iconic performance from the animated feature. How could he? And why would he try? But I didn't expect the Genie to just be human Will Smith, albeit with a shaved head and a swirl of long ponytail hair that's in character, but odd. The character was described at the panel as "a little Fresh Prince, a little Hitch, and a whole lot of attitude." At one point, we see Smith in drag, posing with women dressed similarly, and he cracks how it's hard to tell which one isn't the woman.
The garb on Will Smith is definitely period appropriate -- vests and scarves and billowy Genie pants. But again, my expectations were set on something else, so it took a moment to process that for the live-action Aladdin, Will Smith was going to be... live.