Disney’s reboot sub-genre might have been just a two-hit wonder (2015’s Cinderella, and 2016’s The Jungle Book). True, many people loved the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, but even the most die-hard fans have to admit it focused more on gender politics than it did on improving upon the 1991 original.
But really, the filmmakers charged themselves with a virtually impossible task.
So now, we’re more reserved than ever about Disney selecting Will Smith, of all people, to play The Genie.
Granted, no one can beat Robin Williams’ brilliant and iconic voice work, but we’ve got to credit Disney for trying. But the way we see it, Will Smith had his chance years ago and he chose to side with the enemy (Dreamworks), and delivered an annoying and forgettable performance of a clown/fish/talking fruit in the abhorrent Shark Tale.
Remember that movie? Neither do we. And seeing that Will Smith hasn’t really done anything worth watching since I Am Legend (2007) ten years ago, maybe Disney decided to take pity on him and wants to (ahem) free willie from the lamp that’s kept him in Hollywood lockdown.
Now, to be honest, we’d prefer an unknown actor to fill the role, like Mowgli and Cinderella, but seeing as Disney wants to cash in on star value now, we’ll sadly rule that option out.
So! we’ve compiled a list of better candidates whom Disney should have chosen to fill the big read shoes (we saved our favorite for the end). Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below:
1. Will Ferrell
This kind of seems like an obvious, albeit unpopular, choice, but we think we’d prefer watching Will Ferrell’s snappy one-liners than listen to another kiddie rap song from Will Smith. Whether you find him funny or not, you’ve got to admit he’s mastered improv (Will Ferrell’s Saturday Night Live Collection, anyone?). And in order to play the Genie to Robin Williams’ standards, you need someone who’s fast on their feet with the jokes.
2. Jim Carrey
Another obvious choice, but hey, he fits the criteria. He’s loud, boisterous, and larger than life. Buuuuut, we can see why Disney didn’t choose him. He might have had his day in the sun, so his once-fresh comedic style has gotten a bit sour over the years. But darn it, if he’d just stick with dramas, he’d still be at the top of his game!
3. Steve Carell
True, it’s hard to imagine the world’s best boss growing any louder than “BANKRUPTCY,” but with sound effects, being as advanced as they are, he could surprise us and pull it off. He is, after all, one of Hollywood’s funniest men. I’d love to see what kind of jokes he could pull out of his white collar to dazzle the Arabian street rat.
4. Martin Short
Besides the fact that I (Andy) think he’s one of the funniest men of all time, I think he could have taken the Genie in a completely different direction, and there’s no doubt he would have joked our way back into our hearts with little effort. So naturally, following Martin Short is none other than…
5. Steve Martin
He can sing, he can dance, he tells jokes. Seriously, at heart, the Genie is a performer. He lives to make audiences laugh. You know he’s spending all of his time in that “itty-bitty little space” perfecting his impressions and one-man acts, and who else has been doing that longer than the one and only Steve Martin??
We’d love to hear your opinions below! Vote on your favorite or add someone else to the mix! Let’s get talking!