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'Aladdin' genie Will Smith: It's true I'm blue

Aladdin, played by Mena Massoud, meets the larger-than-life

Aladdin, played by Mena Massoud, meets the larger-than-life blue genie, played by Will Smith, in Disney's live-action adaptation. Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Though the first still images of Disney's upcoming live-action “Aladdin," in December, had depicted Will Smith's genie with the actor's normal skin-tone, the first TV spot for the film shows the character in his traditional blue hue.

"I told y'all I was gon' be Blue! Y'all need to trust me more often!" the actor, 50, posted on Instagram and Facebook, adding a smiley-face emoji, shortly after the commercial debuted during CBS' Grammy Awards telecast and on the Walt Disney Studios Twitter account Sunday night. 

Smith as the genie appears near the end of the minute-long spot, incredulously asking Aladdin (Mena Massoud), who has just discovered the genie’s magic lamp in a cave, "You really don't know who I am? Genie, wishes, lamp? None of that ringin' a bell?"

Smith had previously posed in costume as the genie, alongside Massoud's Aladdin and Naomi Scott's Princess Jasmine, on the cover of Entertainment Weekly's Dec. 20, 2018/Jan. 4, 2019 year-end double issue. Both there and in a movie still inside, showing the genie speaking to Aladdin in a desert, Smith's genie is not blue as depicted in the classic 1992 animated feature and its subsequent media spinoffs. Many fans had expressed concern, even though the accompanying article assured, "[Y]es, he will be blue in the film."

The genie did not appear in the minute-and-a-half teaser trailer Disney released in October.

Some social-media wags complained of the new spot that the genie was the wrong shade of blue, offering sarcastic comparisons to Smurfs and to the alien people of the movie "Avatar."

Directed by Guy Ritchie and also featuring Marwan Kenzari as Jafar and Navid Negahban as the Sultan, the musical fantasy is set for release May 24. 

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