Will Smith is in talks to play the Genie character in Disney’s live-action remake of “Aladdin.” This is massively outside-the-box casting, considering how far-removed Smith is from the actor who made the role famous back in the early 1990s: the late, great Robin Williams. Then again, Robin Williams is brilliant, incomparable, and unparalleled. He’s one of a kind. He can’t be replaced.

So, clearly the strategy is to hire someone else who’s nothing like Robin Williams, but still all those things, and they’ve decided on Will Smith, which unless it’s a huge unforeseen disaster, is probably a good choice.

‘Aladdin’ will reportedly be directed by Guy Ritchie

Disney’s new version of “Aladdin” is reportedly going to have Guy Ritchie in the director’s chair. Ritchie is best-known for his violent, profanity-heavy crime capers, like “Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch.” He’s like the British Tarantino (or he was, until he sold out the way the American Tarantino never did), so why pick him for “Aladdin?”

Either way, Ritchie can make a great Film and he’s talented. Maybe he was looking for a change and Disney were looking for a gamble. They can afford it: their new “Beauty and the Beast” with Emma Watson has already taken in over $1 billion, and “The Jungle Book” last year made almost that with over $900 million.

That’s why Disney are pushing these live-action remakes. They’re completely pointless rehashes, but millions of people are flocking to see them, and they’ll keep making them and making them, way beyond “Aladdin” and “The Lion King” and all the other planned future ones, until the well dries up a few hundred years from now.

This isn’t the first time Will Smith has been in talks for a Disney remake

Will Smith was once in the negotiating stages of being cast in Disney’s new live-action (to an extent, since it’s about a talking elephant) version of “Dumbo” directed by Tim Burton (another odd choice by the Mouse House), but that didn’t go through and it was only in the preliminary stages.

He’s now refocused to a casting in “Aladdin” (obviously), probably because “Dumbo” is horribly racist.

Aladdin” will continue the grand tradition of its 25-year-old original (which was a huge success back in the day, making over $500 million, which was even more than it sounds in nineties dollars) and be a musical. A Disney musical would be a good fit for Smith, who’s risen to prominence as perhaps the most famous actor in the world but used to be prominent as one of the only clean rappers on the scene under the stage name “Fresh Prince.” However, whether or not Smith is ready to commit to a six-month shoot in the UK remains to be seen.