Jon Favreau To Direct Live-Action 'The Lion King' Remake

After delivering the massive blockbuster success that was the live-action remake of The Jungle Book (which pulled in nearly $966 million in the worldwide box office) Disney has lined up another remake of one of their animated classics featuring even more animals from the wild.

Walt Disney Studios has announced that they are working on a live-action remake of 1994's animated hit The Lion King, and they're bringing in The Jungle Book and Iron Man director Jon Favreau to be at the helm. Find out more about The Lion King remake after the jump.

Here's the tweet that Jon Favreau posted this morning to reveal the news:

This news comes in addition to the fact that Jon Favreau will also be working on a sequel to The Jungle Book at Disney as well. When that sequel was announced, Favreau was also in talks to return as director. Will he end up doing both, or could he take a step back and let someone else direct The Jungle Book 2?

We shouldn't be surprised that Disney is looking to remake one of their most beloved films from the 1990s. After all, they already have Beauty and the Beast coming next year, so nothing is off limits. The Lion King feels like one of the hardest to remake in live-action since every single character is a talking animal, but since the visual effects were so astounding in The Jungle Book, it's clear Disney can pull it off. But since all of the characters will be computer generated, I suppose this technically isn't live-action, but just photo-realistic. That's probably why Disney simply calls it a "reimagining" instead.

The question is, will this be as much of a musical as the original animated film? There were plenty of great numbers from the movie, such as "Hakuna Matata" and "I Just Can't Wait to Be King," but since The Jungle Book remake didn't feature nearly as many songs as the original animated version, maybe they'll pull back on the musical elements. It's early in development, so we'll just have to wait and see how this particular remake pans out.

Here's the official press release from Walt Disney Studios:

We can officially confirm that The Walt Disney Studios and director Jon Favreau are putting a new reimagining of The Lion King on the fast track to production. The project follows the technologically groundbreaking smash hit The Jungle Book, directed by Favreau, which debuted in April and has earned $965.8 million worldwide. 

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. 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. 

The Lion King (1994) is one of the biggest animated films of all time with a lifetime global box office gross of $968.8 million, including $422.8 million domestically. It won Academy Awards for the original song "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" (Elton John, Tim Rice) and original score (Hans Zimmer), plus two Grammy Awards, with the soundtrack selling over 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. 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.