While everyone was stuffing their face and watching the Dallas Cowboys battle the football team from Washington DC, Walt Disney Studios just dropped the first teaser for their somewhat live action version of The Lion King. Director Jon Favreau steps behind the camera to direct his second reimagining of a Disney animated classic following his stellar version of The Jungle Book a few years ago.
The teaser for The Lion King does tease some impressive visual effects and the combination of James Earl Jones returning as Mufasa combined with the African-themed music of the original suggests that they’re not afraid to rely on the past to inform the present. Donald Glover takes on the lead role of Simba and the musician-actor is joined by an all-star cast including Seth Rogen, Keegan-Michael Key, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Billy Eichner, John Oliver, Eric André, and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. Even if The Lion King wasn’t a beloved animated classic, that cast alone would sell out theaters.
The business strategy of remaking animated classics has paid off mightily for Disney in recent years and they’re hoping that The Lion King will be their next billion-dollar hit. However, this year provides an interesting challenge for the Mouse House as this live action remake of The Lion King will hit theaters just two short month after Guy Ritchie‘s live action take on Aladdin. Will this be too much too soon for audiences? We’ll find out next year.
The Lion King will be one of 2019’s most anticipated films until it’s released in theaters on July 19, 2019.
The official synopsis for The Lion King:
From Disney Live Action, director Jon Favreau’s all-new “The Lion King” journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother—and former heir to the throne—has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his. The all-star cast includes Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Billy Eichner as Timon and Seth Rogen as Pumbaa. Utilizing pioneering filmmaking techniques to bring treasured characters to life in a whole new way, “The Lion King” roars into theaters on July 19, 2019.