Disney found a groove with doing live-action reboots of their classic animated films, but on Friday, October 28 they confirmed that they’re attempting to touch the untouchable: a remake of the legendary film “The Lion King.”
This isn’t the first attempt at a live-action CGI reboot of a Disney classic, as “The Jungle Book” was also adapted in the same format earlier this year by director Jon Favreau, who will be at the helm of this project as well. The overwhelming critical and commercial success of “The Jungle Book” likely led Favreau and Disney to take on this project, but there is one major difference that could make or break this Lion King reboot.
Audiences have a much more intimate familiarity with The Lion King’s characters compared to The Jungle Book’s. Disney’s original “Jungle Book” animated film was released in 1967, and while it was a huge commercial success for the time and it aired on cable channels such as ABC Family and Disney Channel, the franchise wasn’t nearly as ingrained in the minds of today’s generation as “The Lion King.”
“The Lion King” grossed nearly a billion dollars at the box office in 1994, and its subsequent Broadway musical adaptation, as well as constant airings on television, has made it an unavoidable phenomenon for the millennial generation.
Because of this, a “Lion King” adaptation may not be as successful as Disney hopes. “The Lion King” is arguably Disney’s most popular and acclaimed animated film of all time, and since so many people are familiar with its story its appeal may be more limited than that of “The Jungle Book” remake.
In addition, The Lion King’s universe is entirely comprised of animals, while The Jungle Book’s protagonist is human.
Still, considering the success of Favreau’s “Jungle Book,” you can’t help but to get excited for this.
The remake is reported to feature many of the original songs from the 1994 film. No release date or casting announcements have been made yet, but this announcement was made on the heels of reporting a 2019 sequel to “The Jungle Book,” so it’s fair to expect it to come to theaters following that film.