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Aladdin's new Genie Will Smith pays touching tribute to late Robin Williams

What do you think of Will Smith as the new Genie?

Emmy Griffiths

Will Smith has paid tribute to the late Robin Williams ahead of the release of Aladdin's live-action remake. Speaking about Robin, who passed away in 2014, at the red carpet premiere of the upcoming film in London, Will told reporters: "What Robin Williams did with the Genie was revolutionary in animation. Actors didn't even know you could do that, he introduced an idea and a way to come at these movies."

Will Smith will star as the Genie in Aladdin

He also revealed how he had taken inspiration from the Jumanji actor to make the role his own, adding: "What Robin Williams did is essentially infuse the character with his stand-up persona and when I thought about doing the Genie in that way, that got my mind into, 'Oh, I can just infuse the persona that people have known for the past 20 years into a heightened character and capture a nostalgia', while at the same time creating something new."

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Chatting to PA, he added: "It was deeply stressful and troubling first thinking about [being cast in the role]... So I watched [the original animation] about four or five times and it was the music that really gave me the in, because of my old school hip hop music background I felt that I could create a new signature for the Genie... There is a sequence in this movie, the Prince Ali sequence, where there are 1000 extras and dancers and horses and it's one of the biggest dance sequences you will ever see in movie and it's the sequence I'm most proud of in the movie." Aladdin will be released on 24 May in the UK, and also stars Mena Massoud as the title character, and Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine.

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