There are a bunch of jobs that might be considered impossible in Hollywood right now, and replacing Robin Williams in a remake of any one of his classic turns would probably be top of that list.
Which is partly why the new Aladdin trailer is taking such a kicking.
That, and the fact that Will Smith, who stars as Genie in the new live-action Disney remake, looks so fucking weird.
It’s hard to tell precisely what’s gone wrong here. Have they gone with too much CG on the character? Or not enough? Has he fallen into the uncanny valley? Or does he just look a chubby blue weirdo who should be wearing more clothes?
That Disney decided to go with a visual look similar to that of the Genie whom Robin Williams voiced in the 1992 original might be part of the problem – it kinda makes Smith seem a bit arrogant to think he can take this job on.
Disney are going to persevere with live action remakes of their classic cartoons for as long as each one is a huge success (Cinderella = $543m, The Jungle Book = $966m and Beauty and the Beast = $1.2bn).
With Mulan, Dumbo and The Lion King all in production alongside another half dozen in pre-production, it’ll be some time before the trend comes to an end, even if the Will Smith backlash has taken Disney by surprise.
With the film’s May 2019 release closing in, expect some Disney effects departments to be flat out over the next four months.