Earlier this year we learned that Will Smith was planning for his next bad movie to be Tim Burton’s “live action” Dumbo for Disney, but then a month later he decided that was too bad of a decision to make and dropped out of negotiations. But now! Will Smith’s determination to star in a “live action” Disney remake has been rekindled, because he is once again talking to the Mouse, this time about Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin. I know that “Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin” doesn’t make any sense, but neither does “Tim Burton’s Dumbo” or the world we live in today.
Like Beauty and the Beast, the “live action” Aladdin will also be a musical, which means Will Smith will perform some version of “Friend Like Me”. No one will ever top Robin Williams, but Will Smith as the Genie makes more sense than Will Smith in Dumbo because at least here he can also use his musical skills. I would be interested in hearing the Fresh Prince version of “Friend Like Me”. So already this is a better choice than Dumbo.
Also, you may notice I keep putting “live action” in quotation marks. These movies use so much motion capture and computer animation I’m not sure how “live” they really are. This has led to rule changes at the Academy Awards, following a cinematography win for Avatar, which is also mostly computers, and if Disney keeps cranking out these “live action” remakes—especially if other studios follow suit (“live action” Titan AE, please)—we’re going to need a new genre name for this type of filmmaking. Hybrid live action? Techno-live action? The Matrix? I don’t know what to call it, but we’re pushing the boundaries of live action and animation.