The Lion King (2019 film)

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The Lion King
Disney The Lion King 2019.jpg
Teaser poster
Directed byJon Favreau
Produced by
  • Jon Favreau
  • Jeffrey Silver
  • Karen Gilchrist
Screenplay byJeff Nathanson
Based onDisney's The Lion King
by Irene Mecchi
Jonathan Roberts
Linda Woolverton
Music byHans Zimmer
CinematographyCaleb Deschanel
Edited byMark Livolsi
Distributed byWalt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • July 19, 2019 (2019-07-19)
CountryUnited States

The Lion King is an upcoming American drama film directed by Jon Favreau and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. It is a photorealistic computer animated remake of Disney's traditionally animated 1994 film of the same name. The film stars the voices of Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Billy Eichner, John Oliver, Keegan-Michael Key, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, and James Earl Jones.

Plans for a remake of The Lion King were confirmed in September 2016 following the success of Favreau's The Jungle Book. Much of the main cast signed in early 2017 and principal photography began in mid-2017 on a blue screen stage in Los Angeles. The film is scheduled to be released on July 19, 2019.

Voice cast[edit]



On September 28, 2016, Walt Disney Pictures confirmed that Jon Favreau would be directing a remake of the 1994 animated film The Lion King, which would feature the songs from the 1994 film, following a string of recent box office successes on the other Disney remake films such as Maleficent, Cinderella, Favreau's The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast with the latter three also earning critical praise.[2] In November, talking with, Favreau said the virtual cinematography technology he used in The Jungle Book would be used to a greater degree in The Lion King.[3] Although the media reported The Lion King to be a live-action film, it actually utilizes photorealistic computer-generated animation. Disney also did not describe it as live-action, only stating it would follow the "technologically groundbreaking" approach of The Jungle Book.[4]


On October 13, it was reported that Disney had hired Jeff Nathanson to write the screenplay for the remake,[5] with the story written by Brenda Chapman, who was the original film's head of story.[6] On how much of the original film will be adapted in the remake, Sean Bailey, Walt Disney's president of production, said that "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. [And] 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 [Favreau] used in Jungle Book.[7]


In mid-February 2017, Donald Glover was cast as Simba, with James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa from the 1994 film.[8]

In April 2017, Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen were cast to play Timon and Pumbaa respectively.[9] In July 2017, John Oliver was cast as Zazu.[10] In August 2017, Alfre Woodard and John Kani were announced to play Sarabi and Rafiki, respectively.[11][12]

Earlier in March 2017, it was announced that Beyoncé was Favreau's top choice for the role of Nala and that the director and studio would be willing to do whatever it took to accommodate her busy schedule.[13] Later on November 1, 2017, her role was confirmed in an official announcement,[14][15] which also confirmed that Chiwetel Ejiofor would play the role of Scar as he had impressed Favreau after watching his antagonistic performance as Baron Mordo in Doctor Strange (2016). Other stars Eric Andre, Florence Kasumba, and Keegan-Michael Key will be the voices of Azizi, Shenzi and Kamari while JD McCrary and Shahadi Wright Joseph will be the voices of young Simba and young Nala, respectively. Shahadi's face is not technically new to the movie as she was in the Broadway production of the musical based on it from 2014 to 2015, also playing Young Nala.[16][17][18][19][20] In November 2018, Amy Sedaris was announced as having been cast in a role created for the film.[21]


Production on the film commenced in mid-2017 in Los Angeles, California,[22] utilizing "virtual-reality tools", per Visual Effects Supervisor Rob Legato.[23] Virtual Production Supervisor Girish Balakrishnan said on his professional website that the filmmakers used motion capture and VR/AR technologies.[24]


This will serve as the final credit for film editor Mark Livolsi, who died in September 2018.[25]


On November 1, 2017, it was announced that Hans Zimmer would return to score the film, having previously scored the 1994 animated version.[26] On November 28, 2017, it was reported that Elton John had signed onto the project to rework his musical compositions from the original film before his retirement.[27] The following day it was reported that Beyoncé would be assisting John in the reworking of the soundtrack.[28] On February 9, 2018, John reported that he, Tim Rice and Beyoncé would create a new song for the end credits of the film.[29] Later that month, it was revealed that five songs from the original film would be included in the film: "Circle of Life", "I Just Can't Wait to Be King", "Be Prepared", "Hakuna Matata", and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight".[30]

Visual effects[edit]

The visual effects will be provided by Moving Picture Company and supervised by Robert Legato, Elliot Newman and Adam Valdez.[31]


The first teaser trailer for The Lion King debuted during the annual Dallas Cowboys' Thanksgiving day game on November 22, 2018.[32][33] The trailer was viewed 224.6 million times in its first 24 hours, becoming the then 2nd most viewed trailer in that time period.[34]


The Lion King is scheduled to be released on July 19, 2019, which marks the 25th anniversary of the release of the original film.[35] It will be one of the first theatrical films to be released on Disney+ alongside Toy Story 4, Frozen 2 and Captain Marvel.[36]


  1. ^ "Lion King 2019: First teaser trailer released for new film". BBC. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  2. ^ "Disney and Jon Favreau Joining Forces on "The Lion King"". The Walt Disney Company. September 28, 2016. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  3. ^ Busch, Jenna (November 30, 2016). "Live-Action Lion King Movie to Use VR Tech". Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  4. ^ Amidi, Amid (September 28, 2016). "Get It Right: Disney Is Doing An Animated—Not Live-Action—Remake of 'The Lion King'". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  5. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (October 13, 2016). "Disney's Live-Action 'Lion King' Taps Jeff Nathanson As Writer". Deadline. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  6. ^ Forstadt, Jillian (June 30, 2018). "'The Lion King': Everything to Know About Jon Favreau's Adaptation of the Disney Animated Film". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  7. ^ Trigg, Eric (December 23, 2018). "Disney's The Lion King Won't Be A Shot-for-Shot Remake of Animated Original". ScreenRant. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  8. ^ Gonzalez, Sandra (February 18, 2017). "Donald Glover, James Earl Jones cast in Disney's live-action "Lion King"". CNN.
  9. ^ "Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner to Play Pumbaa and Timon in 'Lion King' (Exclusive)". TheWrap. April 25, 2017. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  10. ^ Donnelly, Matt (July 10, 2017). "John Oliver Joins Disney's Live-Action "The Lion King"". TheWrap. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  11. ^ Galuppo, Mia (August 7, 2017). "Alfre Woodard Joins Disney's 'The Lion King' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  12. ^ Gonzalez, Umberto; Verhoeven, Beatrice (August 7, 2017). "'Lion King' Rafiki Casting: John Kani, 'Civil War' Star, to Play Wise Baboon (Exclusive)". TheWrap. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  13. ^ "Beyoncé Top Choice to Voice Nala in 'Lion King' Remake (Exclusive)". Variety. March 30, 2017. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  14. ^ Verhoeven, Beatrice (November 1, 2017). "Beyonce Will Voice Nala in Live-Action Adaptation of 'The Lion King'". TheWrap. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  15. ^ Pallotta, Frank (November 2, 2017). "Beyoncé joins cast of Disney's live-action 'Lion King'". Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  16. ^ "Shahadi Wright Joseph - Playbill Vault". Playbill.
  17. ^ "Chiwetel Ejiofor Will Voice Scar in The Lion King". Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  18. ^ Smith, Reiss (November 2, 2017). "The Lion King: 2019 release date, cast including Beyoncé, plot synopsis and more". Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  19. ^ "'Lion King's' Young Simba Actor Signs With ICM Partners (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. November 2, 2017. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  20. ^ "Shahadi Wright Joseph as Young Nala". New York Daily News. November 2, 2017. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  21. ^ Donnelly, Matt (November 26, 2018). "'Lion King' Adds Amy Sedaris in Original Voice Role (EXCLUSIVE)".
  22. ^ Lammers, Timothy (March 18, 2017). "Disney's Live-Action The Lion King Starts Production This Summer". Screen Rant. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  23. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (July 15, 2017). "'Lion King': Disney Unveils Jaw-Dropping First Footage Of Jon Favreau's Remake at D23". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  24. ^ "The Lion King". Girish Balakrishnan. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  25. ^ "Mark Livolsi, Film Editor on 'The Devil Wears Prada,' 'The Blind Side' and 'The Lion King,' Dies at 56".
  26. ^ Hood, Cooper (November 1, 2017). "Hans Zimmer Set to Score Disney's Live-Action The Lion King". Screen Rant. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  27. ^ "Elton John will make millions with live-action remake of The Lion King". New York Daily News. November 28, 2017. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  28. ^ "Beyoncé and Elton John are reportedly working on new versions of The Lion King songs". NME. November 29, 2017. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  29. ^ "Sir Elton John confirms new Tim Rice collaboration for Disney's The Lion King remake". Digital Spy. February 10, 2018. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  30. ^ Cabin, Chris (February 18, 2018). "The Lion King: Live-Action Remake Will Only Use Four Songs from the Original's Soundtrack". Collider. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  31. ^ "THE LION KING - The Art of VFXThe Art of VFX". Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  32. ^ Lawrence, Derek (November 22, 2018). "See the first trailer for Disney's new Lion King movie". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on November 25, 2018. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  33. ^ Stedman, Alex (November 22, 2018). "Watch the First 'The Lion King' Live-Action Teaser Trailer". Variety. Archived from the original on November 25, 2018. Retrieved November 22, 2018.
  34. ^ Perez, Lexy (November 24, 2018). "'The Lion King' Trailer Nabs Second-Biggest Debut Ever". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on November 25, 2018. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  35. ^ Lesnick, Silas (April 25, 2017). "Disney Movie Release Schedule Gets a Major Update". Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  36. ^ Whitbrook, James (August 8, 2017). "Disney Is Planning to Pull All of Its Movies from Netflix and Start Its Own Streaming Service [Updated]". IO9. Retrieved August 16, 2018.

External links[edit]