The Lion King Remake

After the record setting debut of The Lion King teaser trailer on Thanksgiving earlier this year, many fans have assumed that the new take on the animated classic would merely be a shot-for-shot remake of the 1994 movie. After all, you can put pretty much every shot in the trailer right next to a shot from the original. But Disney’s live-action film studio chief Sean Bailey assures fans that this won’t be a carbon copy of the movie with photorealistic digitally created animals. In the same breath, he also addresses the rising debate as to whether or not The Lion King remake should be called live-action when it’s technically animated.

Sean Bailey recently sat down for an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, and the first and only footage we’ve seen from the movie inspired the question of whether or not The Lion King remake would be a shot-for-shot recreation of the first movie. Here’s what Bailey had to say:

“The Lion King is a revered and beloved movie, so you’d better revere and love those parts that the audience wants. But there are things in the movie that are going to be new.”

What about the chatter regarding whether or not The Lion King remake should really be called live-action? Even though the movie makes the animals in the story look as realistic as they do in the real world, they’re not using any real animals to make the movie. So is it really live-action, or is it just animation made to look like live-action?

“It is a new form of filmmaking. Historical definitions don’t work. It uses some techniques that would traditionally be called animation, and other techniques that would traditionally be called live action. It is an evolution of the technology Jon used in Jungle Book.”

Bailey’s answer is more of a tap-dance than anything, but it’s also intriguing. What techniques being used on set are along the lines of live-action? Has there been shooting done on a set featuring actors as placeholders for the animated animals? We know motion capture isn’t being utilized for this movie, so that’s out of the question. Maybe there are shots of real landscapes being used. We really don’t know.

Hopefully the next round of footage will give us a better idea of how The Lion King will be different from the original, and maybe it will show us some shots that aren’t created entirely with visual effects. All we can do is wait.

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