I was about two sips into my peppermint tea this morning when Entertainment Weekly dropped the first peek of Guy Ritchie’s live-action adaptation of the 1992 animated Disney film Aladdin, set to hit theaters May 24, 2019. The magazine’s cover featured an image of Will Smith’s Genie, Mena Massoud’s Aladdin, and Naomi Scott’s Jasmine, all dressed in their respective costumes.
I wasn’t sure how Will Smith would transform into the gaudy, quick-tongued Genie, originally voiced by Robin Williams. But now, I’m a believer.
I’m here for Smith’s entire look, which is appropriately equal parts “Arabian-realness” and “sauce-god." The photos only show the Genie outside the lamp in his human form. Inside the lamp, he’ll appear with blue skin, mirroring the original character’s look.
It’s clear, according to Twitter, that Smith’s topknot ponytail is controversial. Some folks are perplexed by the look.
Others, like me, can see the vision. If there’s ever a time to give Will Smith a ponytail, it’s now. The extravagance of the Genie’s role calls for a stylish, yet unconventional look. After all, how realistic is a genie being trapped in an enchanted lamp for all eternity until someone summons him out?
If I rub a magical lamp, I’d be slightly disappointed if my genie showed up wearing flat-front khakis. How can I trust a genie with my three wishes if he can’t even serve a look?
I fully support the ponytail. It’s a play on high-fashion and imagination, which are really one in the same.
Of course, on Twitter, New York Times culture writer David Itzkoff, who wrote a book on original genie portrayer Williams, decided to Gritty-ify Smith’s beard, which is so wrong that it actually works.