As far as we know, Disney’s upcoming live-action iteration of The Lion King is in the very early stages of development. So early that they are still adding cast members as we speak. However, with the film expected to hit theaters just before the next D23 Expo, director Jon Favreau was kind enough to stop by this year’s D23 to provide a small sample of his vision for the new Lion King. And if you are a fan of the original film and his live-action take on The Jungle Book, then you will be pleased by the description we have to offer.
As a nice nod to fans, Favreau presented us with the photo-realistic take of the film’s opening song the “Circle of Life.” The scene looks like they are using the same technology that was used to bring The Jungle Book to life. Though we sat at somewhat of a distance, there was a clear attention to detail in every single thing in the scene. The massive elephants kicked up dust clouds, while ants scurry away carrying leaves. Then there was the fur on other animals. Again the detail was on point.
The shot was clearly paying homage to the animated original as the sequence nearly matched the original beat for beat. Clearly, the technology has improved since The Jungle Book came out, and one has to wonder what the films that utilize this technology will look like if the technology continues to improve at the pace that it is going at now. Even when Rafiki breaks the branches to powder Simba looked real. It all ended with the iconic Rafiki thrusting Simba into the air as the animals down below bow in respect.
Unfortunately, there were no new casting announcements. So that rumor about Hugh Jackman joining the film as Scar can be put to the side, for now. And there is no word yet if Beyonce will voice Nala.
But we do know that Donald Glover will voice Simba, while James Earl Jones returns to voice Simba’s father, Mufasa. Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen will voice the meerkat and warthog duo Timon and Pumbaa, respectively. And John Oliver recently joined the cast as Zazu, the king’s royal adviser.
Keep it here at Geeks Of Doom all weekend for our on-site coverage of Disney’s D23 Expo and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates.