Walt Disney Studios has been having tremendous success with their live-action remakes as of late, with this year’s The Jungle Book raking in close to $1 billion at the worldwide box office. As such, the studio is planning on turning more of its animated classics into live-action movies and has just announced that a remake of the 1994 animated classic The Lion King is being developed, with The Jungle Book director Jon Favreau at the helm.
Favreau posted this tweet this morning as part of the announcement:
Excited for my next project 🦁👑
— Jon Favreau (@Jon_Favreau) September 28, 2016
Favreau, who also directed the first two Iron Man movies, is also working on a sequel to The Jungle Book, although it is not yet clear whether he will direct or not. The Lion King may prove to be an even bigger challenge to transition into live-action than The Jungle Book, as it features no human characters at all. Still, The Jungle Book’s incredible visual effects proved that Disney could convincingly display talking animals in live-action, so there’s no reason to think they can’t pull it off again with The Lion King.
No release date for The Lion King has been revealed, but the studio does have a live-action version of Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson as Belle coming out in 2017.
Here’s the official press release from Disney:
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 likeMaleficent, 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.
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.