Will Smith’s Future With Disney Revealed, Tom Cruise Involved

in Disney, Entertainment

Aladdin (left) with Genie (right)

Credit: Disney

Actor Will Smith has become one of the most prominent figures in all of Hollywood, holding a career that has last more than three decades.

Smith’s acting career took off with the popular TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which aired from 1990 to 1996. His charismatic and comedic performance as the titular character, a young man from a modest background adjusting to life in an upscale neighborhood, made him a household name. This role laid the foundation for his transition into the world of film.

Will Smith as Deadshot in Suicide Squad
Credit: DC/Warner Bros.

He has starred in numerous blockbuster hits, such as Independence Day, Men in Black, I, Robot, and I Am Legend. His ability to seamlessly transition between genres, coupled with his charismatic on-screen presence, has made him one of Hollywood’s most bankable and beloved actors.

One of the standout moments in Will Smith’s film career came with his portrayal of the Genie in Disney’s live-action adaptation of Aladdin (2019). Stepping into the shoes of the iconic character originally voiced by Robin Williams in the 1992 animated classic was a monumental task, but Smith embraced it with his signature charm and wit.

Will Smith as the Genie in live-action 'Aladdin'
Credit: Disney

His Genie was a fresh take, blending his own style with homage to Williams’ portrayal. Smith’s performance as the Genie showcased his exceptional comedic timing and charismatic presence, adding a unique touch to a beloved character. The film’s success, in no small part thanks to Smith’s performance, demonstrated his enduring star power.

As we look towards the future, many fans are wondering if we might see an Aladdin 2 in the works for Disney. In 2019, the movie’s producer, Dan Lin, expressed their intention to explore new stories within the Aladdin universe. He stated that they would draw from various source materials to create something fresh and original rather than being based on a single source. Since that point, multiple reports have come forward about a potential sequel, and Director Guy Ritchie has stated that he’d “love to work with Will Smith again,” even in the midst of Smith’s controversy involving the slap on Chris Rock following a joke the comedian made towards Jada Pinkett Smith at the 2022 Academy Awards.

However, Mena Massoud– who plays the role of Aladdin in the live-action film– shared that it is not likely that a sequel will be made. Though Disney was reportedly considering making a sequel, the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strikes have forced the company to re-prioritize its top projects, and the sequel is essentially up in the air.

Will Smith at Oscars 2022
Credit: ABC

While we wait to hear exact details on Smith’s future with Disney, an interesting note involving Tom Cruise and Aladdin has resurfaced, drawing intrigue from Disney fans across the world.

According to reports, Tom Cruise and Jennifer Connelly served as significant sources of inspiration for the iconic characters of Aladdin and Princess Jasmine, respectively.

As reported by CBR, the documentary Diamond in the Rough: The Making of Aladdin delves into the creation of the film and features exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the cast. During these interviews, it was revealed that Tom Cruise played a crucial role in shaping the character of Aladdin. Glen Keane, the animator behind Aladdin, shared insights with The Los Angeles Times in 1992, explaining that Cruise’s influence, particularly after his role in the Top Gun franchise, had a profound impact on Aladdin’s development. Initially, Keane had envisioned Aladdin as being akin to Michael J. Fox, characterized by a small stature, a big ego, and ambitious dreams. However, the suggestion to watch Tom Cruise’s Top Gun led to the incorporation of Cruise’s confident demeanor and the mischievous glint in his eye into Aladdin’s character.

tom-cruise-top-gun-maverick
Credit: Paramount Pictures

Glen Keane also adjusted Aladdin’s height, making him six inches taller. Meanwhile, for the character of Princess Jasmine, said to draw inspiration from Jennifer Connelly, animator Mark Henn incorporated aspects of the actress’s appearance, notably focusing on her distinctive eyebrows.

These inspirations were felt in the animated version, as well as the live-action version, and it’s crazy to think that Tom Cruise had his hands involved in shaping Will Smith’s future Disney career all the way back with his performance in Top Gun.

What do you think of this Tom Cruise story? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments!

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