A few months ago, Disney unveiled the first teaser trailer for Guy Ritchie's live-action remake of Aladdin. We looked upon it and saw that it was weird, an all-too-brief series of shots featuring some of the film's more notable locations (and, uh, 26 seconds' worth of sand dunes). Given Ritchie's particular brand of kinetic filmmaking and the fact that Will Smith stars in the film as Genie, the film's first teaser felt notably restrained, almost as if the powers-that-be were holding something back.
"Nah, probably everything's fine," we figured.
Which brings us to today, and our first really good look (via EW) at Aladdin's principle cast members: Naomi Scott (as Jasmine), Will Smith (as, yup, Genie), and Mena Massoud as the titular street urchin who gets in way over his head after discovering a magic lamp in a cave.
A quick glance at social media indicates the crowd may not be on this film's side (Genie's grotesque ponytail, which really makes an impression in that last photo, seems to be a particular point of contention). Combined with the mixed reaction that greeted the recent Lion King trailer ("Why, that's not live-action at all!," shouted the people who apparently believed Jon Favreau was going to teach dozens of animals to act), one can't help but wonder if the Disney Live-Action Remake Money Train isn't about to hit a rough patch.
UPDATE: For those concerned about Will Smith's decidedly un-blue appearance here - turns out, this won't be his only Genie look in the movie.
Truth is, it's way too early to tell. No, these aren't the best photos we've ever seen, but we're also not seeing Aladdin, Jasmine and Genie's looks in context. Or in motion! Sometimes that makes a difference! I'm trying to remain positive here and probably not doing a very convincing job of it!
Stay tuned for more on Guy Ritchie's Aladdin. Movie hits theaters on May 24th of next year.