October 18, 2016
'The Lion King' Confirmed As Disney's Next Blockbuster Live-Action Remake Under John Favreau

The Lion King, the famous 1994 animated movie, is set to be remade and reimagined into a new format along the lines of The Jungle Book, Disney's 2016 fantasy film. According to Den of Geek, it has been confirmed that Disney will remake The Lion King using the same innovative technological wizardry that it deployed while reimagining Disney classics like The Jungle Book, Cinderella, and Maleficent.

Loosely inspired by Shakespeare's Hamlet, The Lion King narrates the adventurous tale of the exiled Simba, a young lion prince, who strives to reclaim his throne by confronting Scar, his wicked uncle who killed Simba's royal father. The Lion King was 1994's highest grossing movie, bringing in $968.4 million and $422.7 million in global and domestic markets respectively.

Besides its storyline, The Lion King's original soundtrack played a vital role in making the movie even more memorable. The 1994 film featured beautiful songs that were composed by Elton John and penned by Tim Rice. Moreover, songs like "The Circle of Life" and "Hakuna Matata" have been considered to have an underlying philosophical meaning attached to them. Additionally, the iconic scenes in the original animated movie were made even more emotional by the impactful incidental music composed by Hans Zimmer.

At the 1995 Academy Awards ceremony, Elton John and Tim Rice won an Academy Award for an original song for writing "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" while Hans Zimmer won the coveted award for composing the original score. Moreover, the best-selling soundtrack, which sold over 14 million copies worldwide, won accolades at the Grammys when Elton John and Hans Zimmer won awards for their respective roles.

The Lion King was later made into a Broadway musical that has been staged in some of the major cities around the world. Although The Lion King has been an all-time favorite for Disney fans of all ages, many people are not aware of the challenges that were faced by the production team while making the movie. According to Mashable, animators who were exclusively working on the caricatures of Simba and Scar were located on opposite coasts of the USA. Additionally, the animation team faced challenges in collaborating with each other when a 1994 earthquake in California forced the team members to relocate their offices. Moreover, voice actors like Jeremy Irons were located outside the USA.

During the release of the film, the team almost ran into trouble when several Japanese cartoonists and media persons pointed to similarities between The Lion King and Kimba: The White Lion, a Japanese anime series that featured a lion cub similar to Simba. In fact, the Japanese cartoonists were urging Walt Disney to acknowledge that The Lion King was based on the characters in the Japanese series. However, Roger Allers, the co-director of the Disney classic, assertively stated that the screenplay for The Lion King and the associated animations were an original concept. According to Heavy, Allers spoke about how absurd it was for the Japanese cartoonists to accuse Disney of copyright infringement.

"I could certainly understand Kimba's creators feeling angry if they felt we had stolen ideas from them. If I had been inspired by Kimba, I would certainly acknowledge my inspiration."
Today, Disney producers can safely place their bets on the movie as the original movie is still popular amongst many generations of audiences. The film's popularity became recently evident when its IMAX version grossed $15.7 million and its 3D version brought in $94.2 million. And with director John Favreau at the helm, Disney producers have no reason to worry as Favreau has proved his directorial prowess earlier by making The Jungle Book a big blockbuster. Under his direction, the 2016 film The Jungle Book grossed $965.8 million globally.According to Oh My Disney, John Favreau has confirmed his involvement in The Lion King live-action remake project which will also feature songs from the original movie.

[Featured Image by Donald Bowers/Getty Images]