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The King has Returned.
New lion king
Director Jon Favreau has just left a scoring session for ” The Lion King ” with Hans Zimmer and an orchestra. It was for the stampede. And it will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the 1994 animated classic that. With Favreau’s footage playing in the background, it got a little emotional in that room.
Favreau and an army of people behind the scenes are putting the finishing touches on what might be this summer’s most anticipated release. One that’s been three years in the making with some of the biggest names in entertainment. Including Beyoncé, and the expectations couldn’t be higher. None of the other major studios are even daring to go up against “The Lion King” when it opens July 19.
Era of remakes
The animated film, which opened in June 1994 at the peak of the Disney animation renaissance, went on to become a critical hit. The highest grossing film of the year at the worldwide box office. It was second domestically to “Forrest Gump”. A two-time Oscar winner for Zimmer’s score and the song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” and a Broadway show. Now the third-longest running and one of the most successful in history. So it was only a matter of time before the Walt Disney Co. In this new era of live-action remakes of its animated library which this year included both “Dumbo” and “Aladdin,” turned to one of its most beloved.
Favreau wasn’t finished with his version of “The Jungle Book” when he started inquiring about plans for “The Lion King.” He’d learned so much about motion capture technology and had a team he knew how to collaborate with. He was ready to take it to the next level. So, he raised his hand for the big job.
The studio waited until “The Jungle Book” was out to give him the official word, but the 2016 movie which scored with both critics and audiences, turned out to be a pretty good audition. And he set to work prepping this “live-action” ”Lion King,” which, it should be said isn’t live-action at all. It’s a combination of virtual reality and “keyframe animation”. Which means that the animals are all animated by hand. Just like all the old animated movies. In other words, if you visited the set, you would not find some gargantuan soundstage and a bunch of actors running around acting like lions while covered in motion capture bodysuits and dots.
Jon Favreau’s upcoming “The Lion King” is not a live-action movie, but don’t expect to see the upcoming remake of Disney’s 1994 classic in the 2020 Oscar race for Best Animated Feature. IndieWire caught up with the director at the “Avengers: Endgame” world premiere where he revealed there is only one live-action shot in the entirety of his “The Lion King” remake. Favreau snuck in the shot just to see whether or not viewers will be able to tell the difference between live-action and the movie’s photorealistic visual effects.
Favreau has worked predominantly with CGI animation before on “The Jungle Book”. His 2016 family tentpole that grossed $966 million worldwide and won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects. “The Jungle Book” had one major live-action component thanks to child actor Neel Sethi. But “The Lion King” is completely animated. Motion capture was not used on “Lion King.” The actors who worked on the film. James Earl Jones returns as the voice of Mufasa. Donald Glover is the adult Simba. Chiwetel Ejiofor is Scar. Provided only the voices for their characters.