Following on from his successful remake of animated classic The Jungle Book, director Jon Favreau is trying to create a similarly photorealistic version of The Lion King – but when will the new take on the Disney hit come to cinemas? And who exactly will be voicing the pride and their allies?
Take a look below to find out everything we know about The Lion King remake.
How similar is The Lion King remake to the original 1994 animated movie?
The remake’s plot is expected to remain largely the same as the original 1994 film which follows young lion cub Simba, son of King Mufasa, who witnesses his father’s death in a terrible stampede, secretly caused by Mufasa’s scheming brother Scar.
Believing the death to be his fault, Simba flees for a carefree existence living with meerkat Timon and warthog Pumbaa, but finds himself called back to his destiny when Scar’s rule turns sour.
There is at least one new character – an elephant shrew, played by Amy Sedaris, has been added to the story, and a couple of the hyenas (played by Florence Kasuma, Keegan Michael-Key and Eric Andre) have had their names changed.
According to Favreau, the design of the hyenas also “had to change a lot” when remaking the original animation. “They didn’t feel like they matched up well with the photo-realism,” he explained to Empire. “A lot of the stuff around them was very stylised.”
But Favreau has countered that, explaining: “If you look at the plot points, it tracks pretty accurately to the old one. But if you watched the films side by side you’d realise they actually deviate a great deal.”
Will there still be songs in The Lion King remake?
Taking its lead from the other realistic Disney remakes, it appears that the Lion King will bring back some but not all of its iconic songs. Rumour has it that Can You Feel the Love Tonight, Hakuna Matata, I Just Can’t Wait to be King and Circle of Life are set to return, with Beyoncé and Elton John teaming up to write a new song for the end credits.
Sadly, Scar’s barnstormer Be Prepared is thought to have not made the cut. Pity – we would have loved to see Chiwetel Ejiofor give it a go.
Update: Since the news Be Prepared got the chop Skyler Shuler of The DisInsider has said he’s heard it will be included in the movie. We’ll just have to wait and see.