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Disney Scraps Will Smith’s $1 Billion Franchise; Fans Shocked by Studio’s Reasoning

Will smith Disney
Credit: Disney, ABC, Canva

Will Smith is known throughout Hollywood as one of the industry’s most talented and controversial actors. Since starring on Fresh Prince of Bel-Air at 22 years old, Smith skyrocketed to stardom and cemented himself as a true Hollywood legend of television and movies. Known for being able to take on any genre and role, Smith became a go-to actor for film studios looking to secure a talented and loveable lead. Even the Walt Disney Company was drawn to Smith and selected him for one of the studio’s most coveted roles.

Related: ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Producer Shifts Focus From Johnny Depp to Will Smith

Aladdin

Credit: Disney

From Hollywood’s It-Boy to Disney’s Black Sheep

Will Smith took on the iconic role of the Genie in Disney’s live-action adaptation of Aladdin, marking what could have been the beginning of an epic partnership between the studio and actor. Bringing his own charismatic flair to the character made famous by Robin Williams, Smith’s portrayal captivated audiences worldwide. His performance was a blend of humor, heart, and musical talent, showcasing his versatility as an actor.

The Genie, a beloved character from the animated classic, was given a fresh twist by Smith, who infused the role with his own unique style, making it a memorable part of the new adaptation. Smith’s interpretation of the Genie received praise for his ability to honor the original character while adding his own touch to it. With his larger-than-life personality and captivating presence, Will Smith brought a new dimension to the beloved tale of Aladdin, making it a must-watch for fans of the original animated film as well as newcomers to the story.

It is clear that audiences resonated with Smith’s portrayal as well. The film, which was led by director Guy Ritchie, went on to rake in $1 billion at the worldwide box office, making it one of Disney’s most successful films. With money like this raking in, it seemed obvious that Disney would produce an Aladdin 2. However, an incident by Smith would evidently shutter that dream forever.

Related: ‘Wish’ and ‘Aladdin’ Come to Life in Dazzling New LEGO Sets

Will Smith Aladdin

Credit: Disney

The Slap That Shook Hollywood

In one of the most iconic but uncomfortable moments in Oscars history, Will Smith took to the stage at the 2022 Academy Awards and slapped presenter Chris Rock after he made a comment about Smith’s wife. The moment instantly went viral on social media and resulted in a ten-year ban from Smith for the awards ceremony.

In the wake of this event, it seems that Disney decided Smith was too big of a gamble to return as the Genie in Aladdin 2. Now, it is being reported that the Disney Film project is being scrapped altogether.

Will Smith Chris Rock Slap

Credit: Disney/ABC

Fans React to News of Cancelation

It is tragic to see such an iconic live-action movie not be given a sequel, but it seems that Disney has sealed this project for good. In an age where live-action movies are not looked at as highly as they once were, it is probably a wise decision for Disney to let this project go once and for all. However, some claims have predicted that Dwayne Johnson could take Smith’s place in the show.

On the one hand, many fans are saddened to hear that this live-action sequel has allegedly been canned once and for all. The first movie was a visual feast, and many of the portrayals were incredibly memorable and enjoyable. Aladdin also features some of Disney’s best songs, like “A Whole New World” and “Prince Ali.” On the other hand, the public’s perception of Will Smith has still not fully recovered from the Oscars incident. Smith’s reputation has failed to bounce back 2 years later, and it is unlikely that the Walt Disney Company will make a gamble on him for the foreseeable future.

What do you think of Disney’s decision?

About Eva Miller

Eva was born and raised in the beautiful state of Oregon but has since relocated and lives in New York City. Since she was young, Eva has loved to perform in musicals, especially Disney ones! Through performing, Disney’s music became the soundtrack of her childhood. Today, Eva loves to write about all the exciting happenings for the Walt Disney Company. In her free time, Eva loves to travel, spend time in nature, and go to Broadway shows. Her favorite Disney movie is 'Lilo and Stitch,' and her favorite Park is Disney's Animal Kingdom.

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