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April 23, 2017

Twitter takes sides over Will Smith, Kevin Hart links to Genie in Disney's live-action 'Aladdin'

Movies Disney
042317_SmHartGenie CHRIS PIZZELLO/Dinsey/JOEL RYAN/AP/Disney

Will Smith and Kevin Hart were both approached by Disney for live-action remake of "Aladdin."

Disney's turn to live-action remakes of its animated classics is already proving to be a sweet spot for the Mouse House after the roaring box office success of "Beauty and the Beast," starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in the leading roles.

The stakes are going up for its eventual reboot of "Aladdin," which is always solidly in contention for the best of the bunch from that era, alongside "The Lion King" and "Toy Story."

Two big-time Philadelphia-born actors have been linked to the role of Genie, the story's enchanting guide famously voiced by the late Robin Williams. Both Kevin Hart and Will Smith have reportedly been in talks to play the burly trickster, with Smith holding the edge at this point, according to Screen Rant.

On Twitter, fans of both actors chimed with their preferences for the role.

This is a pretty tough call. Smith's path toward more serious roles makes it harder to picture him as Genie now, but the original release of "Aladdin" in 1993 would definitely amp up the nostalgia. Hart's personality seems to be a better fit, and he might actually fit inside a bottle, but Genie's size in the original was part of what made him such a loveable character on the screen. 

Disney is expected to round out a diverse cast for "Aladdin," having learned from the accusations of "whitewashing" it received after 2010's "Prince of Persia." No timetable has been announced for the film, which will be directed by Guy Ritchie and produced by Dan Lin. 

The real question is whether anyone can do justice to the brilliance of Robin Williams.