“The horror!” many cried when it was announced a few years ago that Jon Favreau would be directing a live-action/animated remake of “The Jungle Book” for Disney. But the filmmaker silenced the doubters when he released the movie this spring. Not only was it critically well-received, but audiences loved it to the tune of $965 million worldwide. Now the mouse house is tasking Favreau to perform the same magic on another beloved property.
Disney has announced that Favreau will direct a reimagining of 1994’s treasured “The Lion King.” The project is on the fast track to production and it’s not hard to see why. The original is one of the biggest jewels in Disney’s animated film crown, and an Academy Award and Grammy winner. Meanwhile, the Broadway adaptation has also done phenomenally well, and taken home a couple of Tonys as well. And don’t forget, Disney Channel is already airing spinoff series, “The Lion Guard,” which means a whole new generation of younger kids are getting familiar with the story. It’s a very valuable piece of IP, and who better to handle it than Favreau who showed he could be respectful of the original while putting his own mark on something new with “The Jungle Book.”
No release date yet, or screenwriter and cast details, but it’s safe to assume that will be along very soon. Read the full press release below.
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 like Maleficent, 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.
Excited for my next project ??
— Jon Favreau (@Jon_Favreau) September 28, 2016