This year, Disney’s The Jungle Book continued to prove that their live-action adaptations of their animated films are a success. With Jon Favreau at the helm, the movie went on to gross $965 million worldwide, making it the fourth highest-grossing film of the year – Disney’s Captain America: Civil War, Zootopia, and Finding Dory are first, second, and third, respectively. Following the announcements of remakes of their other animated features, the studio has confirmed that Favreau will be directing a reimagining of their 1994 animated hit, The Lion King. More on the story below.
Disney confirmed the news today in a press release that said that The Lion King would be put on the fast track to production, though no official release date has been set. Much like Maleficent, Cinderella,, and the upcoming Beauty And The Beast, The Lion King will be reimagined for a contemporary audience that will include original songs, but there is no mention if there will be new songs written for the film. Tim Rice and Elton John wrote the songs for the 1994 film, while Hans Zimmer conducted the score. Their work would go on to Academy Award wins for Best Song and Best Original Score, and earn two Grammy wins. While their names weren’t mentioned specifically in the announcement, it should be interesting to see if they will be invited to work on the remake.
Keep in mind that Favreau only used a few of the original songs in his remake of The Jungle Book, and the fact that The Lion King will be using original songs may indicate that there won’t be new ones written. If that is the case, the director will have quite a list of music to go through that would help push the narrative like it did in The Jungle Book. The Lion King had hit songs like “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King,” “Hakuna Matata,” and “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?” So we’ll just have to see which ones end up making the final cut.
Given that technology is rapidly progressing, I would imagine that we would see the same techniques used to make the animals in The Jungle Book talk be implemented in The Lion King. It’s still too early to tell what will happen given that the film has just been announced. There is no cast, no crew, and no release date yet. But you can be sure we will keep you up to speed on the development of this remake.