Disney will “reimagine” one of its biggest animated features as a live-action project directed by Jon Favreau. The company announced today that it is fast-tracking “The Lion King.”
The move follows Favreau’s similar directorial effort on “The Jungle Book,” which opened in April and has earned $965.8 million worldwide, Disney noted.
“‘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,'” Disney said in its announcement. “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.”
Disney notes that the 1994 animated feature “The Lion King” ranks as one of the highest-grossing animated films of all time with global box office gross of $968.8 million, including $422.8 million domestically. The movie won Academy Awards for the original song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (Elton John, Tim Rice) and original score (Hans Zimmer), along with two Grammy Awards, and the soundtrack sold more than 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,” Disney notes. “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.”