September 28, 2016


Live-Action 'The Lion King' Remake on 'Fast Track to Production,' Disney Reveals

Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Pictures

Disney's live-action remake slate just got way more fierce. Yup: they're doing The Lion King, and they're putting it "on the fast track to production," according to a press release. It joins Mulan, Beauty and the Beast, the Mary Poppins sequel, Cruella, Dumbo, Winnie the Pooh, and, via Aladdin, Genies.

The Lion King word also arrived via a tweet from director/actor/writer/producer Jon Favreau, who helmed this spring's successful The Jungle Book reboot (live-action, natch), the first two Iron Man movies and Elf:

In April, Variety reported that Favreau had signed up for The Jungle Book 2, which is still the case.

Following Favreau's tweet, Disney hit the world with the press blast verifying that our favorite animated movie of 1994—if not the entire '90s; if not the entire history of cinema—and one of Broadway's favorite musicals since forever will now be filmed with real people and whatnot:

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. 

That's the intel you need. If you want to hear Disney's recap of The Lion King's 22 years on Earth, here:

The Lion King (1994) is one of the biggest animated films of all time with a lifetime global box office gross of $968.8 million, including $422.8 million domestically. It won Academy Awards for the original song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (Elton John, Tim Rice) and original score (Hans Zimmer), plus two Grammy Awards, with the soundtrack selling over 14 million copies. In 1997, the stage production The Lion King made its Broadway debut, winning six Tony Awards; 19 years later, it remains one of Broadway’s biggest hits alongside several other productions running around the world, including London, Hamburg, Tokyo, Madrid, Mexico City, Shanghai, and North America. Translated into eight different languages, its 23 global productions have been seen by more than 85 million people across every continent except Antarctica. The Lion King’s worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.