20/12/2018 10:15 GMT

Will Smith Says His Version Of Genie In 'Aladdin' Remake Pays Homage To Robin Williams

The late comedy actor won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of the Genie in the 1992 original.

Will Smith has confirmed his upcoming turn as the Genie in Disney’s upcoming ‘Aladdin’ remake is intended to serve as an homage to Robin Williams.

On Wednesday, fans were treated to a first look at Will in character on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, and in the accompanying interview, he revealed how the late Robin’s iconic portrayal of the Genie inspired his live-action version.

Admitting he initially found the task of playing the Genie a daunting one, Will told the magazine: “Whenever you’re doing things that are iconic, it’s always terrifying. The question is always: Where was there meat left on the bone? Robin didn’t leave a lot of meat on the bone with the character.”

He went on to say he eventually grew confident that he “could deliver something that was an homage to Robin Williams but was musically different”, adding: “Just the flavour of the character would be different enough and unique enough that it would be in a different lane, versus trying to compete.”

JOHN T. BARR via Getty Images
Comedy actor Robin Williams voiced the Genie in the original 'Aladdin' film

The Entertainment Weekly cover also shows Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott in character as Aladdin and Jasmine for the first time, but some were concerned that the Genie’s blue colour hadn’t made the cross-over into the live action remake.

Fortunately, Will has since set the record straight, revealing that the EW cover shows the character disguised as a human, rather than in all his blue Genie glory.

‘Aladdin’, directed by Guy Ritchie, is set to hit cinemas in May 2019, and follows a string of live-action Disney remakes, including ‘Cinderella’, ‘Beauty And The Beast’ and ‘Maleficent’, a reimagining of ‘Sleeping Beauty’.

Next year an all-star retelling of ‘The Lion King’ will also be released in cinemas.