At the 61st Annual Grammy Awards ceremony, audiences were given a teaser trailer of Aladdin and we noticed something striking about the Genie, that being his gold tattoos. Unless our eyes are playing tricks on us, it appears that Smith’s Genie has been decorated with metallic gold body art on his bulging biceps. If these are in fact tattoos, Genie would be the first live-action character to have tattoos in a feature Disney film.
Over 25 years have passed since the release of the animated feature film was released and following the success of remakes of Disney classics like Cinderella, Beauty & the Beast, and Maleficent, the characters of Agrabah have finally been reimagined in a live-action format.
Directed by England’s Guy Ritchie, the upcoming film also stars Egyptian actor Mena Massoud as the titular character, English actress Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine, and Dutch-Tunisian actor Marwan Kenzari as Jafar.
However, the biggest name on the roster for Aladdin is Will Smith, who will take on the role of Genie. Smith had big shoes to fill following Robin William’s unforgettable performance, however, the character has been a modern makeover in the 2019 remake. Although still big and blue, Smith’s Genie has one major physical difference, and that’s tattoos!
In 2016, Disney audiences got their first taste of tattooed characters in Moana, with Polynesian tribal tattoos ornamenting Dwayne Johnson’s Maui, a shapeshifting demigod. In Moana, tattoos were a visual representation of Polynesian history, tradition, and culture; which means Aladdin’s Genie could be telling a similar story through body art.
Only a few stills have been pulled from the teaser which features Genie's ink, however, from what we can decipher, the tattoos are reflective abstract markings which wrap around Smith's forearms and biceps. It's unclear if these designs are meant to represent something more significant in any segment of Arabic culture or are merely decorative. To learn more about Genie's ink, we'll have to see the movie for ourselves, which comes to theaters on May 24th, 2019.
What do you think of the 2019 live-action remake of Aladdin? What are your thoughts on Genie’s new look? Let us know your thoughts, opinions, and questions on this story in the comments.