Will Smith found himself at the center of controversy in March 2022, after he approached comedian Chris Rock and slapped him onstage. The moment followed a joke Rock made about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Now, ten months later, Smith has landed his first new role, and it’s a big one for Disney.
Smith will reportedly return to the role of Aladdin from Genie in an upcoming Aladdin 2.
He first played the blue supernatural being in 2019’s Aladdin, a live-action adaptation of the 1992 animated film. This film was based on the Arabian folk tale of the same name.
One source claims that the script for Aladdin 2 is “loosely based on the Middle Eastern folktale series The Arabian Nights”. The movie is also scheduled to start filming “at the end of the year.” (via The Sun)
The publication’s source stated, “This would be one of the first movies Will has shot since the Oscars slapstick and it’s pretty surprising given that it’s going to be for a kids’ movie.”
Mena Massoud, the actor behind the titular hero Aladdin, was recently asked if he would like to return to the series.
He said in December: “There was a change with the writers, and they’re working on a new draft. If Aladdin 2 happens, that’s fantastic. It should happen.”
He also added, “It won’t be based on the animated version. This will be a new original story.”
Smith came under fire after slapping Rock on the Oscars stage live on television. He has since spoken about why he decided to hit the comedian after the prank on him.
Smith recently spoke with talk show host Trevor Noah and said: “That was a horrible night, as you can imagine. There are a lot of nuances and complexities.”
He added: “But at the end of the day, I just… lost it.”
He also touched on his childhood, saying, “He was the little boy who saw his father hit his mother; all of that came out of that moment.”
Aladdin is now available to watch on Disney Plus.
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