While Simba just can’t wait to be king, Disney just can’t wait to get cameras rolling on its live-action adaptation of 1994’s The Lion King. My Entertainment World, a website that consistently posts film production information, has a listing for The Lion King on its site and claims that shooting on the project will begin as early as this May in Los Angeles, California.
A brief (and familiar-sounding) summary of the film from the website can be found below…
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.
Things have been moving along rather quickly since the film was announced back in September 2016, with Disney tapping The Jungle Book director Jon Favreau to direct, Jeff Nathanson to pen the script and Donald Glover and James Earl Jones to lend their voices as Simba and Mufasa, respectively. If the studio really is looking to get started on production in roughly two months, expect plenty of casting announcements between now and then.
Recently, Disney has developed a reputation for having a bevy of live-action adaptations of animated classics on the horizon, but unlike most of those upcoming films, The Lion King will have a unique hurdle to jump over. The Lion King will be brought to life with the same groundbreaking CGI technology that Favreau used on The Jungle Book, which earned it an Oscar for Best Visual Effects, but what sets the two adaptations apart is that The Lion King doesn’t have a non-CGI character akin to Neel Sethi’s Mowgli for audience members to latch onto amid a circus of CGI animals. It may seem like a fairly minor change, but it could be the difference between a perfect amount of CGI and too much.
If we’re being honest, regardless of quality, The Lion King is going to clean up at the box office. Look no further than Cinderella, The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast for proof of the reliability of Disney’s upcoming slate.
The Lion King doesn’t have an official release date as of now, but it’ll likely be hitting theaters in early 2019.