Jon Favreau has a lot on his plate for the next couple of years. He will be directing the live-action adaptation of Disney’s The Lion King and working on the sequel to the widely popular The Jungle Book. Disney’s April release of The Jungle Book earned $965.8 million worldwide.
Favreau spoke with Collider and provided updates on both projects. He went into detail about the amount of detail and CGI work that has to go into these projects. This is why it takes longer to complete these films compared to other major blockbuster films.
“I think nothing’s quick. This is a slow process and rushing it is not a good idea because a lot of when people react to visual effects they don’t like, often times it’s because it’s rushed and because it’s not well thought through ahead of time. Having gone up to Pixar and working with them on this and other projects — and they’re about as technical as you get — they always say the same thing — it’s all about story. Make sure the story is perfect before you launch forward into the next phase. The technical phase doesn’t come until the human storytelling phase is done.”
The Lion King is without a doubt a Disney animated classic and the challenge of creating a live-action version is not lost on Favreau.
“With Lion King, there you have such a strong original film, and then there was a theater production of it as well in a different medium that was very well received and successful and still continues to play. And you have a lot of people with very deep memories and connections to those properties so you want to make sure that, even though the story is very strong, you want to make sure it translates well to yet another medium and doesn’t feel like it’s duplicating or trying to outdo what was done in another medium.
How do you include the music and the look and the characters and the story points? And can you do it convincingly so that it feels like you’re actually observing real animals in nature while still preserving the characters and the tone and the personality aspects of the film and what tonal things have to change. Having been through it on Jungle Book was very helpful, but what a tremendous opportunity because people feel so connected to it, but with that comes such a tremendous responsibility because you don’t want to do anything that undermines people’s connection to the original, which is so wonderful.”
You can check out the rest of the interview over at Collider.