Will Smith knows that he’s been given the great responsibility of stepping into the role of the Genie in Disney’s live-action remake of Aladdin, but he’s not letting the pressure get to him. Paying tribute to Robin Williams, who played the original Genie in the animated film, the actor took to his Instagram page on March 12 to share a sweet photo design of his and Williams’s classic Genie brushing shoulders.
“I know Genies don’t have Feet . . . But you left some Big Shoes to fill,” he captioned the photo. “R.I.P., Robin!” The photo in question is the work of designer and animator, Luigi Lucarelli, who frequently shares photos of his character designs with his Instagram followers.
This, of course, isn’t the first time Smith has addressed his upcoming take on the character that Williams made iconic. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in December, he spoke about taking inspiration from what Williams brought to the role the first time around.
“After I watched the movie a few times, I saw where Robin Williams infused the character with a timeless version of himself, so I said to myself, ‘What if I just infuse the character with a timeless version of myself?’ And then that opened up for me . . . hip-hop, it opened up fashion,” he said. “Because the Genie is timeless, you get to really say and do anything so I started to feel confident that I could deliver something that was an homage to Robin Williams but was musically different and just the flavor of the character would be different enough and unique enough that it would be in a different lane versus trying to compete.”
We’ll officially be able to watch Smith’s version of the character come to life when Aladdin hits theaters on May 24.
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