Hakuna Matata, The Lion King is an upcoming live-action musical film drama, directed and co-produced by Jon Favreau and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. It’s a remake of the 1994 animated film.
The Lion King was influenced by Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The film tells the story of Simba, a young lion who is set to become king. However, Simba’s uncle Scar murders Simba’s father (Mufasa) and Simba is manipulated into thinking he was responsible. He sets off to live with Timon and Pumbaa until his childhood friend Nala advises him to return to the kingdom and take his homeland from Scar with the help of his friends Timon and Pumbaa, and take his place in the Circle of Life.
The 1994 film has achieved a huge amount of success. It has an IMDb rating of 8.5, two academy awards, two golden globes, and it’s the most successful Broadway musical of all time. It was the highest-grossing film of 1994 and the second-highest grossing film of all time. In total, it grossed just under $1 billion in the box office. In 2016, the film was selected for preservation in the US National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
The production made its way to Broadway in 1997 and won six Tony awards. It won Oscars for the song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” by Elton John and Tim Rice, and for its score by Hans Zimmer. It also won two Grammy Awards andthe soundtrack sold more that 14 million copies. It was translated into eight languages, the film has 23 global stage productions and has been seen by more than 85 million people.
The anthropomorphic film has led to other works, such as two film sequels: The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride (1998), and The Lion King 1½ (2004.) And two television series, ‘Timon and Pumbaa’ and ‘The Lion Guard.’ There was a 3D re-release in 2011. And now a live-action remake.
The production will follow on Disney’s successful remaking of films from the vault such as “Beauty and the Beast,” “Maleficent” and “Cinderella” which are intended for a modern audience.
Many film, TV and music stars are set to be in the live-action remake. Donald Glover has been cast as Simba. Beyoncé will be playing Nala. James Earl Jones, the voice of Dark Vader will reprise the role of Mufasa. Chiwetel Ejiofor will be Simba’s wicked uncle Scar, Alfre Woodard will be Simba’s mother, Sarabi, John Oliver will be the annoying hornbill Zazu, Billy Eichner will team up with Seth Rogen as Timon and Pumbaa, and Eric André and Keegan-Michael Key will be the hyenas.
Favreau, who also directed The Jungle Book remake said: “It is a director’s dream to assemble a talented team like this to bring this classic story to life.” There is word that Beyoncé may also record music for the production, but there is no confirmation yet.
A Mulan remake is set for 2018. There’s also talk of Peter Pan, 101 Dalmatians, Pinocchio and Dumbo. The Lion King remake is set to be released in cinemas on 19 July 2019.