Will Smith is reportedly coming back as Genie in the sequel of Aladdin a year after her Oscars controversy.
Disney is said to be standing by the Emancipation star, who has “done a lot of work on himself,” after he slapped Chris Rock on-stage during 2022 Academy Awards.
Smith hopes to start filming the movie, loosely based on the One Thousand And One Nights series of Middle Eastern folk tales, by the end of this year.
An insider told The Sun, “This would be one of the first movies Will has shot since the Oscars slap and it is quite surprising, given that it will be for a kids’ film.”
“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 film was a huge success so it would be silly not to make another, and it would be a real shame to have to re-cast Will over what happened,” the source added.
“So Disney is keen to stand by him and bring him back into the fold,” the insider shared.
It is not yet confirmed if the leads of the movie, Mena Massoud as Aladdin, and Naomi Scott as Jasmine, will be returning for the film or not.
However, in an interview, Massoud was asked if he knew what was happening with the film, he said, “There was a change with the writers, and they are working on a new draft.”
“If Aladdin 2 happens, that’s fantastic. It should happen,” he added. “It’s not going to be based off the animated version. This is going to be a new original story.”[via]