Disney Developing a Genie Spinoff Series for Will Smith?

Just so you’re not thinking that this is about to be another huge, long-running series that would drive the idea of the Genie into the ground, Mark Langshaw of We Got This Covered helps to keep the story grounded by stating that Disney is interested in creating a limited series starring Will Smith in the role that many feel that he might have nailed in the live action version of Aladdin. In all fairness, Smith had a long way to go to impress people when it came to his version of the Genie, since Robin Williams was still the favored voice of the big blue magical being and a lot of people wouldn’t go so far as to equate Smith with William, ever. But in reality Smith did a fairly good job and even more, his character and the fact that it was live action went a long way towards indicating that the Genie would have a long and full life with his family following the movie, so it’s easy to think that Disney saw potential with this idea and surmised that they could find a way to work it into their schedule. When it will happen is anyone’s guess, but the idea is to develop a prequel first to show the Genie before he met Aladdin, while a sequel is indeed being discussed and could possibly revive elements from The Return of Jafar and the third Aladdin movie, King of Thieves, as there’s plenty of material there still to be used and adapted to live action.

To be certain we don’t get to learn a lot about the Genie from the Aladdin movies since he’s an important character but he’s been bound up in servitude for so long that this is basically the beginning for the audience while Aladdin became the next in line of likely a long list of masters he had to serve, but also thankfully the last. It does make a person wonder how a genie is created however, or how Disney would explain it since in mythology the genie, or jinn, is a being that is very human in their attitudes and yet are supernatural beings created by Allah from smokeless flame. Their power is obviously quite impressive, but there is still a hierarchy to their kind as well as the tales and legends reveal. It might be kind of interesting to see what kind of path the Mouse House would take on this one and how they would explain how Genie came to be and how long he’s been around, as the jinn date back quite a ways and were said to be able to be controlled by Solomon, the son of David. That alone should tell a lot of people that these supernatural beings are quite ancient and that Genie might have seen the passing of many lifetimes before he was finally freed. To learn more about this enigmatic being would be intriguing really but the hope is that Disney wouldn’t ruin the whole excitement of who and what he is. There are still plenty of people out there that are of the mind that Robin Williams will always be the real Genie, but with all credit to Smith’s performance he wasn’t an attempt by Disney to forget Williams in any way. Nathan Rabin of Rotten Tomatoes had something to say about this. He was just another actor to take on the role, nothing more and nothing less.

It does sound at this time as though the script is being written and that things are progressing, but until the all clear is given and people can get back to work in the studios it’s anyone’s guess just when we’ll see a prequel series on Disney+. However it does sound as though people might be interested in this project since with all due respect to the late Robin Williams, we didn’t learn much about his character or about the jinn in particular in his attempts to bring the magical being to life. A lot of people might shrug and say that this didn’t matter back in the early 90s, at least not as it related to the movie, and they’d be right for the most part as Aladdin was more for entertainment value and wasn’t looking to give a history or culture lesson at the time. Now though it might benefit Disney to delve a little deeper into the mythology and really highlight just where the jinn came from and why they were an important part of the culture they were adopted by. Barring that, it does sound like a really interesting idea that could create a lot of buzz among the fan base and even create new and innovative ideas that might be brought forth eventually. Given that jinn are magical and have any number of untold stories that could be turned into another epic, it’s fun to think that Disney might be able to see this possibility at some point.

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