The House of Mouse and Iron Man’s Jon Favreau are partnering up again to bring Simba to life in a live-action version of Disney’s beloved 1994 animated movie The Lion King. Not only is Favreau set to helm the movie, but Disney has also announced that there will be a sequel to its summer blockbuster movie, The Jungle Book.
With Disney’s current penchant for churning out live-action adaptations of their animated films, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that The Lion King is next on their roster, especially considering the fact that The Jungle Book was such a huge critical and commercial hit. Because of that, it's also not surprising that the herculean task was handed over to Favreau, who sat in the director’s chair for The Jungle Book.
Here’s the official announcement:
We can officially confirm that The Walt Disney Studios and director Jon Favreau are putting a new reimagining of The Lion King on the fast track to production. The project follows the technologically groundbreaking smash hit The Jungle Book, directed by Favreau, which debuted in April and has earned $965.8 million worldwide.
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.
The Lion King was one of Disney’s most successful animated movies of all time (darn movie made me cry) and basically got ALL THE AWARDS. Okay, not all the awards, but quite a few. The film grossed a whopping $968.8 million worldwide and won two Oscars: one for the original song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” written by Elton John and Tim Rice, and the other for Hans Zimmer’s original score. It also won two Grammy Awards, and in 1997 a stage production of The Lion King made its debut, winning six Tony Awards. Not too shabby, right?
What do you guys think? Is Jon Favreau the perfect man to bring Simba, Scar, Nala, Mufasa, Timon and Pumbaa to life in a live-action version of The Lion King? (Why yes, yes he is.)
CORRECTION: The original text of this article indicated that Hans Zimmer was dead. He is not. Our apologies to Hans, his friends and family, and you, the reader. The text has been updated to indicate Mr. Zimmer's proper status.