There’s a reason The Lion King is widely seen as the one of the greatest achievements in Disney animated history. As well as looking great with an amazing soundtrack and voice acting, it’s an incredibly well-told story that’s been making folks laugh and weep for 20 years now. The Mouse House’s upcoming “live-action” remake has a lot to measure up to then, but Disney’s film chief has promised that it’ll match the original in terms of emotional stakes.
Alan Horn was speaking to The Hollywood Reporter recently when he was asked how many different cuts of director Jon Favreau’s reboot he’d seen. As well as answering the question, Horn emphasized how “emotional” the director’s take on the story of Simba (Donald Glover) is.
“Four. Bring a handkerchief. It’s so emotional. But it’s a remake of an animated film, so there must be some percentage of the audience who will say, ‘Well, I saw the first picture.’ All I can say for sure is you cannot tell these animals aren’t real.”
Presumably, we can infer from this that the remake will hue close to the original movie’s plot, retaining such key heartbreaking moments as the death of Mufasa – who will, brilliantly, still be voiced by James Earl Jones. This fits with how we’ve heard that many of the classic songs will feature, too – including Scar’s villainous number “Be Prepared” – as well as new tracks by Elton John and Beyonce, who’s voicing Nala.
The Lion King is the last of the three remakes Disney’s releasing this year, following March’s Dumbo and May’s Aladdin. We wouldn’t be surprised if these earn more cash as they go along, too, with the Savanna-set epic – also starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Seth Rogen, John Oliver and many more – no doubt set to reap a humongous amount of money at the box office.