Robin Williams’ Last Will Squashes Any Future For ‘Aladdin’ Sequels
It’s been over a year since Robin Williams’ shocking, heartbreaking suicide. His career has definitively ended, and his posthumous films Boulevard, A Merry Friggin’ Christmas, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, and Absolutely Anything have all come and gone from theaters. Robin Williams movies are no more, and a specific clause in the beloved comedian and actor’s last will and testament, as noted by the New York Post, will ensure that it stays that way.
The item in the Post indicates that Disney currently has access to all of Williams’ outtakes from the recording sessions for the 1994 animated smash Aladdin, enough to, say, resurrect his antic genie character for another sequel. Williams was clearly uncomfortable with the idea of one of his most iconic characters finding new life after his own death, because it’s been revealed that his will expressly forbids any studios from using his name, taped performances, or voice work for twenty-five years following his date of death. The Post’s item explains that Williams included this stipulation in part to protect his loved ones from any financial difficulties that may have resulted from the sticky legalities of posthumous earnings.
Cinema Blend notes another aspect of the odd contractual dictates that may have come into play. Williams’ participation in Aladdin was promised under the condition that his character not be used for any tie-in promotions of advertisements — he didn’t want to see the Genie hawking cheeseburgers to kids on TV. Except that that is exactly what happened, stirring up quite a bit of bad blood between Disney and Williams. Over time, Williams would relent and rejoin the studio for another go-round with the franchise, the sequel Aladdin and the King of Thieves, but even then, the actor was wary of how his identity might be used for profit. Now, he can rest easy knowing his legacy is secured and untouchable.