Until now, every reaction to the upcoming live-action Aladdin has been mixed, especially when it comes to Will Smith’s version of the Genie, which looked pretty ridiculous during a teaser trailer that debuted during the Grammy Awards in February. But now, all anybody can talk about is how Jafar being hotter than Aladdin basically retcons our childhoods. That is, until Jafar starts talking.
Disney released the first full-length trailer for Aladdin on Tuesday morning, and it features several iconic sequences from the original animated film, including some snippets from well-known musical numbers. Things look a lot better than they did in previous teasers, but it’s still far from genie-us.
Perhaps the biggest change this live-action version of the story makes — aside from Aladdin’s undershirts — is that Jafar looks unrecognizable as the Royal Vizier of Agrabah. Rather than a serpentine, creepy older person that comes across as a menace, Jafar is ruggedly handsome and he seems barely older than Aladdin with a raspy, high-pitched hiss of a voice.
Fans are worried they might wind up rooting for Jafar instead of Aladdin.
On Reddit, fans are straight-up confused by this development.
In the original Aladdin, Jafar hypnotizes the Sultan so he might force Jasmine into marrying him. The Sultan fights the spell and manages to say, “…but you’re so old!” What will he say in the new version where Jafar isn’t old at all?
A more authentic casting in line with the original might’ve featured an older actor. Some fans (including this author), think Ben Kingsley might’ve been perfect. He’s played villains before and has the perfect touch of “menacing older man” with the facial hair to make it work.
In this sense, the casting for Jafar feels all wrong — but people also sort of love it.
These were in response to Kenzari’s casting at the time, but now that we’ve all gotten a good look at the new Jafar in action, the sentiment has seen a resurgence.
Some fans think Jafar needs to be more feminine to make it work, and we’re inclined to agree.
Jafar is simply too hot and people are going to like him more than they like Aladdin!
Others still are not as taken with Jafar after hearing his voice. The tide has turned it seems:
The live-action Aladdin adaption looks like it’s going to a tone and style noticeably different from the original source material. Whereas most of the live-action Disney films have been pretty faithful, between hot Jafar and the new Genie’s hip-hop style, fans of the classic Aladdin should prepare themselves for something a bit different.
Aladdin will be released in theaters May 24, 2019.