While the original live-action Aladdin film didn’t live up to the audience’s expectations, a sequel is apparently in the works, with Will Smith also set to return, according to a recent report from The Sun.
The latest report notes that Smith (who played the role of the Genie in the 2019 film) is set to reprise his role, and play an even bigger part in the film than he did in the first one. The Sun goes on to note that the script is “loosely based on the One Thousand and One Nights series of Middle Eastern folk tales,” and the hope is that filming could begin at the end of the year.
For Smith, this would be one of his first big roles back since his now infamous moment of slapping Chris Rock during last year’s Academy Awards ceremony. Smith has since apologized for the moment, and explained some of what was going through his mind during it.
“It was a lot of things,” said Smith during an appearance on The Daily Show. “It was the little boy that watched his father beat up his mother, you know, is that you know, all of that just bubbled up in that moment. You know, I just that’s not who I wanna be. I had to forgive myself for being human. Trust me, there’s nobody that hates the fact that I’m human more than me. And just finding that space for myself within myself to be human. It’s like, I want, I’ve always wanted to be Superman. I’ve always wanted to swoop in and save the damsel in distress, you know. And I had to humble down, you know, and realize that I’m a flawed human, and I still have an opportunity to go out in the world and contribute in a way that fills my heart, and hopefully helps other people.”
According to The Sun, a movie insider notes that “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 live-action Aladdin film was released in 2019, and starred Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott as Aladdin and Jasmine, respectively, with Smith starring as the Genie.
The film was directed by Guy Ritchie, and although it received a mixed reaction from audiences and critics, the film was still a massive success, grossing over $1 billion worldwide and becoming the ninth highest-grossing film of 2019.