Will Smith reportedly is in talks to play the genie in director Guy Ritchie’s upcoming live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated blockbuster “Aladdin.”
Deadline.com reported Wednesday that two-time Academy Award nominee Smith, 48, is in early negotiations with the studio, where he previously had been in consideration for Tim Burton’s planned “Dumbo” live-action adaptation. Neither Smith nor Ritchie have commented.
Smith starred last year in the drama “Collateral Beauty” and the action film “Suicide Squad,” about a team of DC Comics supervillains recruited for a government mission. He earned Oscar nominations for his lead roles in the biographical dramas “Ali” (2001) and “The Pursuit of Happyness” (2006). English filmmaker Ritchie, also 48, directed the 2009 Robert Downey hit “Sherlock Holmes” and its 2011 sequel, as well as such British gangster movies as “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” (1998). His Camelot adventure “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword” is set for release May 12.
Disney’s 1992 “Aladdin,” starring Robin Williams as the voice of the genie, was a worldwide hit, grossing more than $500 million. John August (“Big Fish”) is adapting the animated feature, itself based on the Middle Eastern folk tale popularized in the book “The Thousand and One Nights,” popularly called “The Arabian Nights.”