Nothing kicks the week off like a good rumor. According to The Sun, Will Smith is reprising his role as the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin 2. The live-action sequel would be Smith’s first role since he slapped the taste out of Chris Rock’s mouth at the Oscars. Ever since “the Slap,” Smith stepped back from the spotlight to reflect on his actions, learn from the incident, and re-position himself for a Hollywood comeback. According to IMDB, Andrea Berloff and John Gatins will write the Guy Ritchie-directed sequel, inspired by the One Thousand And One Nights series of Middle Eastern folk tales. If all goes according to plan, cameras could begin rolling by the end of the year for a 2025 release.
The Sun spoke with an insider close to the film for its report. According to the individual, “This would be one of the first movies Will has shot since the Oscars slap, and it is quite surprising, given that it will be for a kids’ film.” Adding, “He has done a lot of work on himself, and the consensus is that it will all be very much in the past by the time the movie is released. The first film was a huge success, so it would be silly not to make another, and it would be a real shame to have to re-cast Will over what happened. So, Disney is keen to stand by him and bring him back into the fold.”
2019’s Aladdin banked over $1 billion worldwide in 4,476 theaters. In other words, it’s no surprise Disney wants to make Aladdin 2. The Sun spoke with Mena Massoud (Aladdin) in December, who told the outlet there’s been a change in writers and a new draft is currently underway. “It’s not going to be based off the animated version,” says Massoud. “This is going to be a new original story.”
Are you interested in Disney’s Aladdin 2? Do you think Smith will play the Genie again, or will the House of Mouse find someone new to wield phenomenal cosmic powers? Is the world ready to pardon Smith for his behavior at the Oscars? Only time will tell, and the world is watching.