It was the moment film fans had been waiting for – to see Will Smith as the blue-hued genie in the brand-new live-action retelling of the 1992 animation Aladdin. But the moment didn't go down very well, it seems.
The trailer dropped on Monday, at the Grammys 2019, as Disney gave everyone a glimpse of what's to come. The much-anticipated film is being directed by Guy Ritchie and will be released on May 24.
In particular Smith, who steps into the giant shoes of comedian Robin Williams, who originally voiced the character, attracted much scorn. People weren't impressed, and have voiced concerns across social media.
"I love Will Smith as much as the next person but I just can't get behind him as the Genie," one Twitter user wrote. "No one will ever do that role better than Robin Williams."
Others joked that they were scared when Smith's Genie popped up on the screen.
The first teaser for the film, which dropped in October 2018, had left the genie out. Later in the year, in December, Smith appeared alongside co-stars Naomi Scott (Jasmine) and Mena Massoud (Aladdin) on a cover of Entertainment Weekly, giving fans a first look at the characters. People weren't impressed with Smith then either, and were generally worried the genie wouldn't be blue this time.
Following the release of the trailer, Smith wrote on Instagram: "I told y'all I was gon' be blue! Y'all need to trust me more often!"
Disney cast its net far and wide to find ethnically appropriate actors to take on the lead roles, with casting sessions taking place across the Middle East and India, including one in Abu Dhabi. Sadly, those auditions failed to provide the movie giant with the star it needed.
Disney eventually settled on Massoud, an Egyptian-Canadian newcomer, as Aladdin; British actress Scott as Princess Jasmine; and Smith as the genie. Dutch-Tunisian actor Marwan Kenzari is also among the supporting cast as Jafar, alongside Homeland's Iranian star Navid Negahban.