Did Will Smith Fear The ‘Aladdin’ Remake Would End His Career?

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Will Smith attends 'Bad Boys For Life' photocall at the Villamagna Hotel in Spain

By Laura Broman |

Will Smith attends 'Bad Boys For Life' photocall at the Villamagna Hotel in Spain

(Getty Images)

Was Will Smith worried the live-action Aladdin remake would ruin his career? That’s what one tabloid claimed last year, but it was completely baseless. Gossip Cop busted that story one year ago today.

According to an article published in OK! on March 17, 2019, Smith was panicking about perceived backlash to how he looked as the Genie in the recently-dropped trailer for the Aladdin remake. An unidentified insider told the tabloid that Smith, along with director Guy Ritchie, “weren’t expecting just how negative some of the reactions would be” and feared the movie would end up a box office bomb.” Both the actor and the director, the shady tipster said, had realized “this could end in disaster for both of their careers.”

Nothing about this rumor was remotely true. After some initial backlash to the first image of Smith as the Genie weeks earlier, the first trailer received overwhelmingly positive reactions from fans. Smith was evidently very excited about the film’s release, having shared his enthusiasm on Instagram, saying “I can’t wait for y’all to see it.” Moreover, a trusted source close to Smith informed Gossip Cop that OK!’s claims were total fiction. The whole story was absurd, given the amount of hype surrounding the movie at the time.

One year later, it’s even more evident how ludicrous the article was. The film was a smash success at the box office, grossing $1 billion worldwide. Last month, Variety even reported that an Aladdin sequel is currently in development, though Smith and his co-stars have not yet been approached about returning. Smith was obviously excited about the movie and enthusiastic about how it turned out: “I can honestly say this was the most fun I had making a movie, and one of the greatest experiences of my professional career,” he said on the red carpet at the film’s Hollywood premiere. He added, “Aladdin really helped me find meaning again in my heart and soul for performing.”

By the way, the movie quite obviously did not ruin Smith’s career. His most recently-released film, Bad Boys for Life, was also a box office hit as well as a critical success. If there’s one celebrity out there whose career you really don’t need to worry about, it’s Will Smith.

As one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Smith is no stranger to bogus tabloid headlines. Gossip Cop has debunked many phony rumors about Smith, including an utterly ridiculous story about the actor secretly feuding with fellow A-lister George Clooney for years. More recently Gossip Cop busted a fake story from the Globe alleging that Smith and Jada Pinkett were living a “sham” marriage after years of drifting apart.


Shuster, Andrew. "Will Smith Worried About ‘Aladdin’ Ruining His Career?" Gossip Cop, 17 Mar. 2019.

Kroll, Justin. "‘Aladdin’ Sequel in the Works (EXCLUSIVE)." Variety, 12 Feb. 2020.

Chi, Paul. "Will Smith: Aladdin Was “the Most Fun I Had Making a Movie”." Vanity Fair, 22 May 2019.

Mendelson, Scott. "Will Smith’s ‘Bad Boys 3’ Races Toward More Box Office Milestones." Forbes, 9 Feb. 2020.

Shuster, Andrew. "Will Smith Rumors: What’s Fact, What’s Fiction?" Gossip Cop, 1 June 2019.

Shuster, Andrew. "Will Smith And Jada Pinkett’s Marriage Is A ‘Sham’?" Gossip Cop, 5 Dec. 2019.