Disney’s live-action remake of their animated classic, The Jungle Book was a critical and commercial success. So much so, that director Jon Favreau has been given the opportunity to bring The Lion King back to the big screen in live-action form.
The original animated film was released in 1994, and has been a cultural phenomenon ever since – spawning two direct-to-DVD sequels, multiple animated series, Disney theme park attractions and of course, a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical.
Now that Favreau has signed on to direct this new adaptation with the technology he and countless VFX artists showcased in The Jungle Book, there are endless possibilities in bringing one of the most cherished animated films of all-time to life in a new light.
Favreau made an appearance at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival alongside Scarlett Johansson, who voiced Kaa the Snake in The Jungle Book. The two have collaborated together in multiple films including projects within the Marvel Cinematic Universe and his passion project, Chef.
Favreau got to discuss working on both The Jungle Book as well as his approach to The Lion King:
With the Disney stuff, people know even more … With Lion King, people really know [the original], and they grew up with it and it has emotional impact. I think about what I remember about The Lion King? I did it with Jungle Book. ‘What do I remember about The Jungle Book? I remember Mowgli and the snake. I remember the snake’s eyes. I remember Baloo going down the river and Mowgli riding on him like a raft. I made a big list, and those are the images we definitely needed… and you have more latitude to shift and change those things.
The Jungle Book was 50 years ago, Lion King was 20, and people grew up with it in an age of video where they watched it over and over again. So, I have to really examine all of those plot points. Also, the myths are very strong in it, so you’re hitting something even deeper than the movie sometimes. What I’m trying to do is honor what was there… There are certain expectations people have.
From the looks of it, Favreau is already making the right calls. Recently, Donald Glover was announced to be the voice of Simba and living legend James Earl Jones is set to reprise his role as Mufasa.
What do you guys think of Favreau’s approach in bringing The Lion King back to life? Sound off in the comments below.
Meanwhile, you can see Disney’s live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast in theaters now.
The Walt Disney Animation Library, Ranked From Worst To Best
Disney had made an unconventional “franchise” out of remaking its animated classics as live-action blockbusters. Combined with their Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars stables, it has ensured the company’s continued domination in the film sphere. Maleficent, Cinderella, and The Jungle Book were at the forefront of that charge the last few years. Now, with Beauty and the Beast hitting theaters (our review here), now is a great time to look back at Disney’s amazing animated catalog and how they stack up against each other.
Disney has had a lot of animated films released theatrically or direct-to-video, sometimes in collaboration with other studios. This list specifically focuses on those from the Walt Disney Animation department, so sorry Brave Little Toaster fans, of which I’m one. No Pixar flicks either, but fans of that studio are in luck, as we ranked their films last summer. You can check that list out below.
I haven’t seen Saludos Amigos, Make Music Mine, Song of the South, Melody Time, Fun and Fancy Free, & The Three Caballeros, hence their exclusion. Naturally, we’ll most likely disagree about the specific ordering. Let’s think of it as a conversation starter. I’d love to hear what you guys think in the comments!
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