Disney is really cashing in on their old classics, aren't they? Everything their spotlight has touched, from Cinderella to Dumbo, is being considered for a CGI makeover. Whilst we've had several already, including Maleficent and Pete's Dragon, another beloved and epic tale looks set to join their ranks soon enough!
Hot on the heels of his resounding success on The Jungle Book, the internet was sent into a frenzy of speculation following a mysterious tweet from it's director, Jon Favreau. A Lion and a crown? What movie is that? Wait...surely not...
But then an official announcement came shortly afterwards from Disney themselves, and our matatas were well and truly hakuna'd:
"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."
To movie fans and Disney-lovers, this is may not be a surprise, but it's certainly a cause for celebration! After all, like Beauty and the Beast, it's an animated classic. The story of The Lion King follows the young lion cub Simba, and we follow him on his quest to regain his African throne, following the betrayal of his father Mufasa (James Earl Jones) which was orchestrated by his Uncle Scar (Jeremy Irons).
It may essentially be Shakespeare's Hamlet with lions — though that is nothing to be sniffed at! The Lion King is revered due to its stunning visuals, stellar cast and Oscar-winning songs...and speaking of songs, we'll be hearing them again in the remake!
The official statement also discloses that:
"Like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King will include songs from the animated film."
This just keeps getting better and better!
If Jon Favreau's work on The Jungle Book is anything to go by, we'll be getting a visually gorgeous piece that remains true to the original story. Indeed, The Jungle Book was critically and commercially acclaimed, so we know that The Lion King is in good hands. This can only be reassuring to those who aren't sold on the idea of a remake.
We also know that Jon Favreau is also set to return to Mowgli and Co. in a sequel to The Jungle Book. This will join the upcoming Disney remakes of Beauty and the Beast (starring Emma Watson), Dumbo (to be directed by Tim Burton), and the 1963 fantasy romp, The Sword in the Stone.
"But when can we see The Lion King?" I hear you ask...
"Could the original cast return?"
Sadly, the press release doesn't mention anything like that, so it's all speculation at this point. We don't know when it's due out, who's working on the music (please be Hans Zimmer) or who's starring in it. Either way, we can't help but be filled with excitement! Who doesn't want to hear 'The Circle of Life' ringing through the theaters once again?!
Make sure you follow us for all the latest developments so that you can...yup... be prepared!