Credit: Instagram @willsmith

The countdown to the live-action remake of Disney’s Aladdin is well and truly on. With less than two weeks to go before it lands in Australian cinemas, Will Smith appeared on the Late Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon overnight to chat about the new film. Starring in the modern rendition as the blue genie, the actor has faced backlash surrounding the role with many unsure he would successfully fill the shoes of late Robin Williams.

Speaking with Fallon, he revealed he initially turned down the opportunity.

“Hell no,” Smith said his initial response was. “It’s like… Robin Williams smashed that role. When you look at things like that, you try to find what would you do differently? What would you add to that?”

Nevertheless, the hype around the film particularly with younger generations still reigns strong though similar remake Dumbo received an underwhelming response. Smith’s decision to move forward was sparked by the motivation to put a new and unique twist on the original character, and that was seen in his on-screen interview.

Aladdin song ‘Friend Like Me’ has become famous thanks to the original 1992 movie, so to reiterate it to the expectation of fans would prove challenging. Though Smith had a better idea. With Fallon and the rest of the audience clapping along, the 50-year-old teased a small portion of the song in rap – and we’re digging it.

The film will drop into cinemas from May 23. We’re ready. Check out the interview above and the official trailer to Aladdin below.