Will Smith is a corny dad, but he’s also With It (it’s why we love him). He enjoys a good meme now and then, even when he’s the butt of the joke. The internet has been littered with cursed images of IRL Genie from Disney’s live-action Aladdin remake ever since we got our first look at the blue dude. The jokes and memes, many of the Sinbad and Shrek variety (now there’s a buddy comedy I would pay to see), haven’t stopped since, and Smith, for one, is a big fan.
“It was very funny,” Smith told Empire magazine about the online reaction. “There was a Sonic the Hedgehog / Genie frog. Everything is under such critical scrutiny. I came up in an era where there was no internet. It’s a new thing that I’m trying to get a handle on.” Sonic? Sure. Genie? That checks out. A frog? Huh. I haven’t seen any mammal-genie-amphibian abominations (and I shudder to think that poor Pepe might be involved), only this nightmare of an image.
Aladdin director Guy Ritchie was also asked about the discourse surrounding the film. “It even came with apologies from the cynics who were so adamant initially,” he said, referring to the second trailer. “I’ve never seen apologies in that world. I thought, oh well, great, we’re back to where I’d hoped we’d be.”
Aladdin opens on May 24, although maybe wait until November to see the film. It would make a strong double feature with Sonic the Hedgehog.