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Jon Favreau to direct live-action version of The Lion King

The Lion King

Story by Jack Foley

JON Favreau is re-teaming with Disney for a live-action version of family favourite The Lion King.

The director last worked with the company on the critically-acclaimed, box office smash hit live version of The Jungle Book.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney has fast-tracked the film into development, which will offer a 21st century take on the tale.

In a post on its website, Disney stated: “The Lion King builds on Disney’s success of re-imagining its classics for a contemporary audience with films like Maleficent, Cinderella and The Jungle Book.

“The upcoming Beauty & 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.”

Having brought animals to life digitally with The Jungle Book, Favreau intends to build on what he accomplished with that film using just a real child actor, cutting edge technology and a green-screen set in a Los Angeles studio.

The Lion King, released in 1994, is considered one of the pinnacles of Disney’s animated movies – in animation and in general.

Set in the African Savannah, the story told of a young lion named Simba who loses his father Mufasa thanks to his evil uncle Scar, and is cast out into far reaches of the wilderness. Years later, he returns to reclaim his throne.

The movie was, for years, the top-grossing animated movie of all time, achieving $968.8 million world-wide. It also won Academy Awards for the original song, Can You Feel the Love Tonight, and original score.

Disney also translated the movie for the stage, where the production won six Tony Awards and has gone on to become one of Broadway’s biggest hits. It is also a mainstay of London’s West End, where new concept photography has just been released.

A spin-off TV series, The Lion Guard, is also doing well on the Disney Channel.

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