From the Bear Necessities to Hakuna Matata, The Jungle Book director Jon Favreau has struck up a new collaboration with Disney that will involve a modern reimagining of another jewel from its treasured archives: The Lion King.
Still basking in the glow of The Jungle Book, which raked in a staggering $965 million worldwide, it’s little wonder why the House of Mouse was keen to reteam with Favreau, who will soon be suiting up as Happy for next year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. This announcement will almost certainly place Disney’s plans for a Jungle Book sequel firmly on the back-burner, though considering the time-honored cachet of The Lion King, we’re completely on board with Simba and Co. jumping ahead of the queue.
The Lion King builds on Disney’s success of reimagining its classics for a contemporary audience with films like Maleficent, Cinderella, and The Jungle Book. The upcoming Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson as Belle, is already one of the most anticipated movies of 2017. Like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King will include songs from the animated film. Disney and Favreau are also in development on a sequel to The Jungle Book. No release date has been announced for either film.
One big question coming out of today’s announcement is that, with no human elements in Disney’s beloved 1994 original whatsoever, will Jon Favreau’s remake forgo live-action altogether and double down on CGI-heavy, performance-capture techniques? That’s a method of approach that effectively wowed audiences back in April, but will Favreau and Disney be able to capture lightning in a bottle for the second time on the trot?
It’s official: The Lion King, a fairytale loosely based on Shakespeare’s indelible Hamlet, is in line for the remake treatment. No release window was disclosed at this early stage, but you can leave your initial impressions in the usual place.