ByS.C. O'Donnell, writer at
"Zombies, exploding heads...creepy-crawlies and a date for the formal - This is classic, Spanky." Wah-hoo-wah! Twitter: @Scodonnell1
S.C. O'Donnell

Disney's live-action remakes of their classic animated films have been crushing it. Cinderella was the first big project, followed by the wildly successful Jungle Book and the recent billion-dollar box office juggernaut, Beauty and the Beast. With the success of these films, Disney has green-lit no less than 20 more live-action remakes, and none is more anticipated than The Lion King.

is set to direct this new version of The Lion Ling, and he certainly has his hands full. Favreau’s work on was very impressive, but The Lion King is another beast entirely. It’s not that the film will be harder to shoot or that the source material is denser, but the intense nostalgia surrounding The Lion King will be biggest hurdle for the director.

Disney’s The Lion King is an absolute classic, and it was a huge film in the lives of many people growing up in the ‘90s. It’s a film that still evokes emotion in people today, and one that fans hold very close to their hearts. Just like with Beauty and the Beast, Jon Favreau’s new film will carry a lot of nostalgia with it, and might also be harshly criticized if it veers too far away from the spirit of the original.

Jon Favreau is aware of the weight that this franchise carries, and recently addressed fans' concerns regarding The Lion King remake.

Jon Favreau Talks About His Approach To The Lion King

Jon Favreau recently fielded questions at the Tribeca Film Festival’s Tribeca Talks’ Directors Series, and inevitably, the topic of The Lion King arose. Favreau discussed his approach to making films, including the care and love he puts into each project:

“When you’re directing, you have to love [what you’re making]. You have to love it to the point of obsession — I have to live, breathe, sleep it, dream it. If I’m going to do my best work, I need to be completely immersed… you look at the material and you get inspired, and then try to update it for our time.”

Favreau then spoke about Disney films, and how he knows that the films hold a special place in the hearts of many. He also spoke about his work on The Jungle Book, and how he used his past experience in his filmmaking process:

“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 [too]. [I asked myself], ‘What do I remember about [the 1967 version of] The Jungle Book? ...I made a big list, and those are the images we definitely needed… and you have more latitude to shift and change those things.”

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Favreau’s work on The Jungle Book was phenomenal, and he seems to be taking a similar approach to The Lion King:

“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.”

Favreau compared remaking beloved films to seeing a renowned musician in concert (specifically Prince), and how it's his job to give the fans what they want to see, and how the film must meet or exceed fan’s expectations:

… to me, it’s like you’re doing a big DJ set for the audience. It’s about the audience having the experience they’re hoping to have, and if you can surprise them along the way, they’ll enjoy it even more, but you gotta live up to what [people] want, so you get greater pressure with these beloved stories.”

Based on all of Jon Favreau’s comments, it seems like he knows exactly what fans want to see from The Lion King. Given his work with The Jungle Book, fans already have a lot of faith in Jon Favreau’s ability to direct The Lion King, and now they can rest a bit easier knowing the amount of thought and love going into the remake. Make sure you stay tuned to MoviePilot for all the latest news regarding The Lion King.

Sound off! Do you think Jon Favreau is the right person to direct The Lion King? Let your voice be heard in the comments section below!

(Source: Entertainment Weekly)


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