Will Smith in talks to play the Genie in Disney's live-action Aladdin

The actor is in early negotiations to play the role made so iconic by the late Robin Williams 

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The Independent Culture

Perhaps the biggest obstacle Disney are currently facing with their live-action remake of Aladdin is the role of the Genie, made so irreplaceably iconic by the late Robin Williams' vocal performance in the 1992 original. 

However, Deadline is now reporting that Will Smith is in early talks for the role, having previously been in contention for the lead in Tim Burton's take on Dumbo

Directed by Guy Ritchie, the live-action musical is set for a six-month shoot starting in the UK in July and wrapping early next year, filming off a script by John August (Big Fish). 

It looks like the studio is aiming for the path of safety here in their potential casting of Smith, re-moulding the role of Genie by relying on a major name who's own star power can help shift the character into a new direction. 

Elsewhere, Disney has sent out casting calls specifically looking for actors of Middle Eastern descent for the roles of Jasmine and Aladdin, which hopefully means introducing some exciting, breakout talent to the game. 

There's no word yet on when Disney are hoping to release the film.