The Lion King (2019 film)
|The Lion King|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jon Favreau|
|Screenplay by||Jeff Nathanson|
|Based on||Disney's The Lion King|
by Irene Mecchi
|Music by||Hans Zimmer|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios|
|Box office||$1.656 billion|
The Lion King is a 2019 American musical film directed and produced by Jon Favreau, written by Jeff Nathanson, and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. It is a photorealistic computer-generated remake of Disney's traditionally animated 1994 film of the same name. The film stars the voices of Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner, John Kani, John Oliver, and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, as well as James Earl Jones reprising his role from the original film. The plot follows Simba, a young lion who must embrace his role as the rightful king of his native land following the murder of his father, Mufasa, at the hands of his uncle, Scar.
Plans for a remake of 1994's The Lion King were confirmed in September 2016 following box office successes for Disney remakes such as The Jungle Book (2016), which was also directed by Favreau. Favreau was inspired by certain roles of characters in the Broadway adaptation, and developed upon elements of the original film's story. 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 "virtual-reality tools" utilized in The Jungle Book's cinematography were used to a greater degree during filming of The Lion King. Composers Hans Zimmer, Elton John, and lyricist Tim Rice, all of whom worked on the original's soundtrack, returned to compose the score alongside Knowles-Carter, who assisted John in the reworking of the soundtrack and wrote a new song for the film, titled "Spirit", which she also performed. The film serves as the final credit for editor Mark Livolsi, and it is dedicated to his memory. With an estimated budget of around $260 million, it is one of the most expensive films ever made.
The film was theatrically released in the United States on July 19, 2019. It has grossed over $1.6 billion worldwide, surpassing Frozen as the highest-grossing animated film, and is also the second highest-grossing film of 2019, highest-grossing PG-rated film, and seventh-highest of all-time. It received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for its visual effects, music, and vocal performances (particularly Rogen and Eichner), but criticism for its lack of originality and facial emotion on the characters.
In the Pride Lands of Africa, a pride of lions rule over the animal kingdom from Pride Rock. King Mufasa's and Queen Sarabi's newborn son, Simba, is presented to the gathering animals by Rafiki the mandrill, the kingdom's shaman and advisor. Mufasa shows Simba the Pride Lands and explains to him the responsibilities of kingship and the "circle of life", which connects all living things. Mufasa's younger brother, Scar, covets the throne and plots to eliminate Mufasa and Simba, so he may become king. He tricks Simba and his best friend Nala (to whom it is expected Simba will marry) into exploring a forbidden elephants' graveyard, where they are attacked by spotted hyenas led by the ruthless Shenzi. Mufasa is alerted about the incident by his majordomo, the hornbill Zazu, and rescues the cubs. Though upset with Simba, Mufasa forgives him and explains that the great kings of the past watch over them from the night sky, from which he will one day watch over Simba. Meanwhile, Scar visits the hyenas and manages to convince them to help him overthrow Mufasa in exchange for hunting rights in the Pride Lands.
Scar sets a trap for his brother and nephew, luring Simba into a gorge and having the hyenas drive a large herd of wildebeest into a stampede that will trample him. He informs Mufasa of Simba's peril, knowing that the king will rush to save his son. Mufasa saves Simba but ends up hanging perilously from the gorge's edge. Scar refuses to help Mufasa, instead sending him falling to his death. He then convinces Simba that the tragedy was Simba's own fault and advises him to leave the kingdom and never return. He orders the hyenas to kill the cub, but Simba escapes. Scar tells the pride that both Mufasa and Simba were killed in the stampede and steps forward as the new king, allowing Shenzi's clan to live in the Pride Lands.
Simba collapses in a desert and is rescued by Timon and Pumbaa, a meerkat and warthog, who are fellow outcasts. Simba grows up in the oasis with his two new friends and other animals in their oasis, living a carefree life under the motto "hakuna matata" ("no worries" in Swahili). Now a young adult, Simba rescues Timon and Pumbaa from a hungry lioness, who turns out to be Nala. She and Simba reunite and fall in love, and she urges him to return home, telling him that the Pride Lands have become a drought-stricken wasteland under Scar's reign. Feeling guilty over his father's death, Simba refuses and storms off. He then encounters Rafiki, who tells him that Mufasa's spirit lives on in Simba. Simba is visited by the ghost of Mufasa in the night sky, who tells him that he must take his rightful place as king. Realizing that he can no longer run from his past, Simba decides to return to the Pride Lands.
Aided by his friends, Simba sneaks past the hyenas at Pride Rock and confronts Scar, who was about to fight Sarabi. Scar taunts Simba over his role in Mufasa's death and backs him to the edge of the rock, where he reveals to him that he murdered Mufasa. Enraged, Simba reveals the truth to the rest of the pride. Scar, who previously claimed that he arrived too late at the gorge, attempts to defend himself, but his knowledge of Mufasa's last moment exposes his role in Mufasa's death. Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki, Zazu, and the lionesses fend off the hyenas while Scar, attempting to escape, is cornered by Simba at a ledge near the top of Pride Rock. Scar begs for mercy and attempts to blame his crimes on the hyenas; Simba spares his life, but orders him to leave the Pride Lands forever. Scar refuses and attacks his nephew, but Simba manages to throw him off the cliff after a brief fight. Scar survives the fall, but is attacked and mauled to death by the hyenas, who overheard his attempt to betray them. Afterwards, Simba takes over the kingship and makes Nala his queen.
With the Pride Lands restored to its usual state, Rafiki presents Simba and Nala's newborn cub to the assembled animals, continuing the circle of life.
- Donald Glover as Simba:
A lion who is the crown prince of the Pride Lands. Glover said that the film will focus more on Simba's time growing up than the original film did, stating that "[Favreau] was very keen in making sure we saw [Simba's] transition from boy to man and how hard that can be when there's been a deep trauma".
- JD McCrary as young Simba.
- Seth Rogen as Pumbaa:
A slow-witted common warthog who befriends and adopts a young Simba after he runs away from home. Rogen said, "[a]s an actor, I [...] don't think I'm right for every role — there are a lot of roles I don't think I'm right for even in movies I'm making — but Pumbaa was one I knew I could do well". Favreau encouraged Rogen and Timon's Billy Eichner, who did their voice recordings together, to improvise a lot.
- Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar:
The treacherous brother of Mufasa, the brother-in-law of Sarabi and the uncle of Simba who seeks to take the mantle of king of the Pride Lands. Ejiofor described Scar as more "psychologically possessed" and "brutalized" than in the original film. Ejiofor said that "especially with Scar, whether it's a vocal quality that allows for a certain confidence or a certain aggression, to always know that at the end of it you're playing somebody who has the capacity to turn everything on its head in a split second with outrageous acts of violence – that can completely change the temperature of a scene". Ejiofor also said that "[Scar and Mufasa's] relationship is completely destroyed and brutalized by Scar's way of thinking. He's possessed with this disease of his own ego and his own want". Favreau said of casting Ejiofor, "[He] is just a fantastic actor, who brings us a bit of the mid-Atlantic cadence and a new take on the character. He brings that feeling of a Shakespearean villain to bear because of his background as an actor. It's wonderful when you have somebody as experienced and seasoned as Chiwetel; he just breathes such wonderful life into this character." When Jeremy Irons was interviewed on Larry King Now on November 30, 2016, he expressed interest in reprising the role.
- Alfre Woodard as Sarabi:
The Queen of the Pride Lands, Mufasa's wife, and Simba's mother.
- Billy Eichner as Timon:
A wise-cracking meerkat who befriends and adopts a young Simba after he runs away from home. Eichner described Timon as "physically the smallest character, but he has one of the bigger personalities, and I love the combination of those two things. I kind of played into Timon, as I’ve done with many characters of mine, [the notion that] he might be small in stature but he has a huge sense of entitlement, which is always funny to play," and that "when Timon speaks and when he’s quote-unquote ‘being funny,’ he's very loud and boisterous, but [his] singing allows this vulnerable side, a slightly softer side, especially in ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ and other moments.” Eichner also talked about having "what some may consider a gay sensibility" that he brought to the table when he voiced Timon.
- John Kani as Rafiki:
A wise mandrill who serves as the shaman of the Pride Lands, and a close friend of Mufasa's. Likening his role to that of a grandfather, Kani said, "Rafiki reminds all of us of that special wise relative. His wisdom, humor and his loyalty to the Mufasa dynasty is what warms our hearts towards him. [He's] always happy and wisecracking jokes as lessons of life and survival."
- John Oliver as Zazu:
A red-billed hornbill who is the majordomo to the King of the Pride Lands. Speaking of his role, Oliver said, "I think Zazu is basically a bird who likes structure. He just wants things to be as they should be. I think there are British echoes there because we tend to favor structure in lieu of having an emotional reaction to anything."
- Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala:
Simba's childhood best friend and future love interest. According to Favreau, the character has a bigger role than in the original film. Favreau felt that "part of [Beyoncé joining the film] is that she's got young kids, part of it is that it's a story that feels good for this phase of her life and her career, and she really likes the original very much. And then, of course, there are these wonderful musical numbers that she can be involved with, and my God... she really lives up to her reputation as far as the beauty of her voice and talent".
- James Earl Jones as Mufasa:
The King of the Pride Lands, Sarabi's husband and the father of Simba. Jones reprises his role from the original 1994 animated film. According to Favreau, Jones' lines remain mostly the same from the original film. Ejiofor said that "the comfort of [Jones reprising his role] is going to be very rewarding in taking [the audience] on this journey again. It's a once-in-a-generation vocal quality". Favreau saw Jones' return as "carrying the legacy across" the original film and the remake, and felt that his voice's change in tonality compared to the original film "served the role well because he sounds like a king who's ruled for a long time".
- Florence Kasumba, Keegan-Michael Key, and Eric Andre voice Shenzi, Kamari, and Azizi: Three spotted hyenas who are Scar's henchmen. While Shenzi is a character that was featured in the original 1994 animated film, Kamari and Azizi are the respective names of new characters loosely based on Banzai and Ed from the original film. The hyenas' characterizations were heavily altered from the original film's, as Favreau felt that they "had to change a lot" to fit the remake's realistic style, stating that "[a] lot of the stuff around them [in the original film] was very stylised". Kasumba elaborated, declaring that "Those hyenas were funny. These hyenas are dangerous."
Additionally, Penny Johnson Jerald voices Sarafina, Nala's mother. Amy Sedaris, Chance the Rapper, Josh McCrary, and Phil LaMarr voice a guinea fowl, a bush baby, an elephant shrew, and a topi (miscredited as an impala), respectively, Timon and Pumbaa's neighbors in the oasis. J. Lee voices a hyena that chases after Timon and Pumbaa.
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 of Disney live-action remake films such as Maleficent, Cinderella, Favreau's The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, with the latter three also earning critical praise. On October 13, 2016, it was reported that Disney had hired Jeff Nathanson to write the screenplay for the remake.
In November, talking with ComingSoon.net, Favreau said the virtual cinematography technology he used in The Jungle Book would be used to a greater degree in The Lion King. 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. While the film acts as a remake of the 1994 animated film, Favreau was inspired by the Broadway adaptation of the film for certain aspects of the remake's plot, particularly Nala and Sarabi's roles. Favreau also aimed to develop his own take on the original film's story with what he said was "the spectacle of a BBC wildlife documentary".
In mid-February 2017, Donald Glover was cast as Simba, with James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa from the 1994 film. In April 2017, Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen were cast to play Timon and Pumbaa respectively. In July 2017, John Oliver was cast as Zazu. In August 2017, Alfre Woodard and John Kani were announced to play Sarabi and Rafiki, respectively.
Earlier in March 2017, it was announced that Beyoncé Knowles-Carter 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. Later on November 1, 2017, her role was confirmed in an official announcement, which also confirmed that Chiwetel Ejiofor would play the role of Scar, and announced that Eric Andre, Florence Kasumba, and Keegan-Michael Key would be the voices of Azizi, Shenzi and Kamari while JD McCrary and Shahadi Wright Joseph would be the voices of young Simba and young Nala, respectively. In November 2018, Amy Sedaris was announced as having been cast in a role created for the film.
The Moving Picture Company, the lead vendor on The Jungle Book, provided the visual effects, which were supervised by Robert Legato, Elliot Newman and Adam Valdez. The film uses "virtual-reality tools," according to Visual Effects Supervisor Rob Legato. Virtual Production Supervisor Girish Balakrishnan said on his professional website that the filmmakers used motion capture and VR/AR technologies. MPC was in charge of all the VFX shots for this film. There are 1490 VFX shots. The animals were designed from art and photo references. From that, the characters were built; all the rigging, shapes, textures, and furs were rendered step-by-step for further improvement. After that, the animation of the animals was crafted by hand, based on the reference clips. The movements, muscles, eyes, facial expressions, and the way the animals breathe was animated for more than 30 species. The environment was created entirely in CGI from reference materials such as high-definition photos of the African landscape. All the FX simulations—such as water, dirt and fire—were created by combining VR technology with cameras shots so that scenes could be digitally built within in a VR-simulated environment. New software developed for the movie made it possible to create scenes with the shaky-cam look of a handheld camera. Sean Bailey, Disney's President of Production, said of the film's visual effects, "It's 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".
Rather than animators do everything, the team also used artificial intelligence to allow virtual characters behave in ways that mimicked real animals. There is only one real and non-animated shot in the film, consisting of the sunrise in the opening scene.
Hans Zimmer, who composed the 1994 animated version, would return to compose the score for the remake with Pharrell Williams as a collaborator. Elton John also returned to rework his musical compositions from the original film before his retirement, with Knowles-Carter assisting John in the reworking of the soundtrack. John, the original film's lyricist, Tim Rice, and Beyoncé were also slated in 2018 to create a new song for the film. However, the collaboration between Beyoncé and John did not pan out as the unreleased song was not added to the official soundtrack. John and Rice also wrote a new song for the film's end credits, titled "Never Too Late" and performed by John.
"Spirit", performed by Knowles-Carter and written by herself, Ilya Salmanzadeh, and Labrinth, was released on July 9, 2019, as the lead single from the soundtrack. The film also features all the songs from the original film, a cover of The Tokens' "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", and the song "He Lives in You" from Rhythm of the Pride Lands and the Broadway production. The soundtrack, featuring Zimmer's score and John and Rice's songs, was released digitally on July 11, 2019, and physically on July 19, 2019.
The first teaser trailer and the official teaser poster for The Lion King debuted during the annual Dallas Cowboys' Thanksgiving Day game on November 22, 2018. The trailer was viewed 224.6 million times in its first 24 hours, becoming the then 2nd most viewed trailer in that time period. A special sneak peek featuring John Kani's voice as Rafiki and a new poster were released during the 91st Academy Awards on February 24, 2019. On April 10, 2019, Disney released the official trailer featuring new footage which revealed Scar, Zazu, Simba and Nala (both as cubs and as adults), Sarabi, Rafiki, Timon and Pumbaa and the hyenas. The trailer was viewed 174 million times in its first 24 hours, which was revealed on Disney's Investor Day 2019 Webcast. On May 30, 2019, 11 individual character posters were released. A special sneak peek featuring Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Billy Eichner, and Seth Rogen's voices as Nala, Timon, and Pumbaa respectively, was released on June 3, 2019. A special sneak peek featuring Knowles-Carter and Donald Glover's voices as Simba and Nala singing "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" and also featuring James Earl Jones' voice as Mufasa, was released on June 20, 2019. On July 2, 2019, Disney released an extensive behind-the-scenes featurette detailing the various aspects of the film's production along with seven publicity stills featuring the voice actors facing their animal counterparts.
The trailers of the film led to a claim of its being a shot-for-shot remake of Disney's 1994 film. On December 23, 2018, Sean Bailey, Disney's President of Production, said that while the film will "revere and love those parts that the audience wants", there will be "things in the movie that are going to be new". On April 18, 2019, Favreau stated that "some shots in the 1994 animated film are so iconic" he couldn't possibly change them, but "despite what the trailers suggest, this film is not just the same movie over again", and later said "it's much longer than the original film. And part of what we're doing here is to (give it more dimension) not just visually but both story-wise and emotionally." On May 30, 2019, Favreau said that some of the humor and characterizations are being altered to be more consistent with the rest of the film, and this remake is making some changes in certain scenes from the original film, as well as in its structure. On June 14, 2019, Favreau said that, while the original film's main plot points will remain unchanged in the remake, the film will largely diverge from the original version, and hinted that the Elephant Graveyard, the hyenas' lair in the original film, will be replaced by a new location. The film is approximately 30 minutes longer than the original.
The Lion King premiered in Hollywood on July 9, 2019. The film was theatrically released in the United States on July 19, 2019. It will be one of the first theatrical films to be released on Disney+, alongside Aladdin, Toy Story 4, Frozen 2, Captain Marvel, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The film began its international rollout a week before its domestic release, starting with July 12 in China.
The Lion King has grossed $543.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $1.113 billion in other territories, for a worldwide total of $1.656 billion.
The film had a global debut of $446 million, the ninth largest of all-time and the biggest opening for an animated film. On July 30, 2019, the film grossed $1 billion, becoming the 42nd film to ever reach the milestone, as well as fastest animated film to gross $1 billion, doing so in 21 days, surpassing Incredibles 2 (46 days). The Lion King is the highest-grossing animated film of all time, the highest-grossing musical film of all time, the highest-grossing remake of all time, the highest-grossing Walt Disney Pictures film of all time, the highest-grossing film of Favreau's career, the second highest-grossing film of 2019, and the 7th highest-grossing film of all-time.
United States and Canada
Beginning on June 24, 2019 (which marked the 25th anniversary of the release of the original film), in its first 24 hours of pre-sales, The Lion King became the second-best pre-seller of 2019 on Fandango in that frame (behind Avengers: Endgame), while Atom Tickets reported it was their best-ever first-day sales for a family film. Three weeks prior to its release, industry tracking projected the film would gross $150–170 million in its domestic opening weekend. By the week of its release, estimates had the film debuting to as much as $180 million from 4,725 theaters, beating Avengers: Endgame's record of 4,662. The film made $77.9 million on its first day, including $23 million from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $191.8 million over the weekend, the highest opening total of the Disney reimaginings of animated films (beating Beauty and the Beast's $174.8 million), a July release (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2's $169.2 million) and Favreau's career (Iron Man 2's $128.1 million). The film had a slightly higher-than-expected drop of 60% in its second weekend, but still topped the box office with $76.6 million. It was dethroned by newcomer Hobbs & Shaw in its third weekend but still grossed $38.5 million, crossing the $400 million mark in the process. On August 21, the movie become the second animated film to have grossed $500 million at North America box office, after Incredibles 2.
The film was expected to gross around $450 million over its first 10 days of a global release, including $160–170 million from its worldwide opening weekend. In China, where it released a week prior to the rest of the world, the film was projected to debut to $50–60 million. It ended up opening to $54.2 million, besting the debuts of The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast. Over its first 8 days of global release, the film made a total of 751 million, including $351.8 million from overseas territories. This included $269.4 million from its opening weekend (sans China), with its largest countries being the United Kingdom, Ireland and Malta ($20.8 million) France ($19.6 million), Mexico ($18.7 million), Brazil ($17.9 million), South Korea ($17.7 million), Australia ($17.1 million) and Russia ($16.7 million, second-largest ever in the country), as well as $6 million in the Netherlands, the best opening of a film ever in the country. As of September 16, 2019, the film's top 10 largest markets were China ($120.4 million), the United Kingdom, Ireland and Malta ($91.3 million), France ($79 million), Brazil ($69.1 million, second highest all time in the country), Japan ($60 million), Germany ($53.8 million), Mexico ($51.8 million), Russia ($47.3 million), Australia ($42.8 million), and Italy ($40 million). The film become the first animated and musical film to gross $1 billion at overseas box office.
As of September 2019, the film became the highest-grossing film of all time in the Netherlands ($30.2 million), surpassing previous record held by Titanic ($28.5 million including re-release) and South Africa (R107.6 million, $7.29 million), surpassing Black Panther in local currency terms (in dollar terms, is still second highest of all time). Meanwhile, the film become the highest-grossing films of 2019 in many other countries and regions: Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg, Bulgaria, France, Algeria, Monaco, Morocco and Tunisia, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Portugal and Angola, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and Spain. It is also the highest-grossing foreign film of 2019 in Poland In India, the film grossed $26.3 million, making it the fourth highest-grossing Hollywood or foreign films of all time, highest-grossing animated film of all-time (both local and foreign films), and one of top 50 highest-grossing films of all time in India. In Europe, Middle East, and Africa the film surpass Avengers: Endgame to become the fourth highest-grossing film of all time and highest-grossing film of 2019 across the region.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 53% based on 386 reviews, and an average rating of 6/10. The website's critical consensus reads: "While it can take pride in its visual achievements, The Lion King is a by-the-numbers retelling that lacks the energy and heart that made the original so beloved – though for some fans that may just be enough." Metacritic gave the film a weighted average score of 55 out of 100, based on 53 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an average four out of five stars.
Kenneth Turan at the Los Angeles Times called the film "polished, satisfying entertainment." Todd McCarthy at The Hollywood Reporter considered it to be inferior to the original, noting, "The film's aesthetic caution and predictability begin to wear down on the entire enterprise in the second half." At The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw found the film "watchable and enjoyable. But I missed the simplicity and vividness of the original hand-drawn images." Among the vocal performances, the roles of Eichner and Rogen as Timon and Pumbaa, respectively, received particular praise by critics, with A.V. Club's Dowd proclaiming: "Ultimately, only Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen, as slacker sidekicks Timon and Pumbaa, make much of an impression; their funny, possibly ad-libbed banter feels both fresh and true to the spirit of the characters—the perfect remake recipe."
A. A. Dowd, writing for The A.V. Club, summarized the film as "Joyless, artless, and maybe soulless, it transforms one of the most striking titles from the Mouse House vault into a very expensive, star-studded Disneynature film." Dowd bemoaned the film's insistence on realism, commenting, "We're watching a hollow bastardization of a blockbuster, at once completely reliant on the audience's pre-established affection for its predecessor and strangely determined to jettison much of what made it special." Scott Mendelson at Forbes condemned the film as a "crushing disappointment": "At almost every turn, this redo undercuts its own melodrama by downplaying its own emotions." David Ehrlich of IndieWire panned the film, writing, "Unfolding like the world's longest and least convincing deepfake, Jon Favreau's (almost) photorealistic remake of The Lion King is meant to represent the next step in Disney's circle of life. Instead, this soulless chimera of a film comes off as little more than a glorified tech demo from a greedy conglomerate — a well-rendered but creatively bankrupt self-portrait of a movie studio eating its own tail."
- "The Lion King Press Kit" (PDF). wdsmediafile.com. Walt Disney Studios. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
- "The Lion King (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. July 4, 2019. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
- Giardina, Carolyn (July 19, 2019). "The Lion King' "Virtual Production" Could Be a Game-Changer for Filmmaking". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony; Tartaglione, Nancy (July 16, 2019). "'The Lion King' Expected To Leave A Big Paw Print Around The World With $450M+ Total By Sunday – Preview". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
- "The Lion King (2019)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
- "Movie Review: 'The Lion King' remake is amazingly lifelike, lacks original's soul". WTOP. July 19, 2019.
- What To Expect From The Characters In The Upcoming 'The Lion King' Adaptation. Entertainment Weekly (YouTube). April 25, 2019. Event occurs at 0:19. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
- Snetiker, Marc (April 25, 2019). "The Lion King: EW visits the set of Disney's rule-breaking beast of a remake". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
- Snetiker, Marc (May 3, 2019). "The Lion King: How Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen put a new twist on Timon and Pumbaa". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
- "Is Jeremy Irons playing Scar in the 'Lion King' remake?". Ora TV. November 30, 2016. Retrieved November 12, 2019.
- Vary, Adam (July 13, 2019). "Billy Eichner Wants More LGBTQ Characters In Animated Movies". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved July 29, 2019.
- "Lion King 2019: First teaser trailer released for new film". BBC. November 23, 2018. Archived from the original on November 23, 2018. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
- Mizoguchi, Karen (June 24, 2019). "Beyoncé 'Wrote and Performed' a Brand-New Song for Lion King Soundtrack, Jon Favreau Confirms". People. Archived from the original on June 25, 2019. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
- Snetiker, Marc (April 26, 2019). "How Jon Favreau's The Lion King landed Beyoncé". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on April 26, 2019. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
- Truitt, Brian (March 23, 2019). "Meet Shahadi Wright Joseph, the breakout horror warrior in Jordan Peele's 'Us'". USA Today. Archived from the original on March 24, 2019. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
- Snetiker, Marc (April 26, 2019). "The Lion King director recalls James Earl Jones' 'powerful' return as Mufasa". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on April 26, 2019. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
- Travis, Ben (June 12, 2019). "The Lion King: Jon Favreau On The Return Of James Earl Jones – Exclusive Image". Empire. Archived from the original on June 12, 2019. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
- Houghton, Rianne (June 14, 2019). "The Lion King director reveals the biggest change from the original". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on June 14, 2019. Retrieved June 16, 2019.
- Bell, Breanna (July 10, 2019). "Chance the Rapper Says He Joined 'The Lion King' Cast as a 'Nostalgia Consultant'". Variety. Archived from the original on July 11, 2019. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
- "Disney and Jon Favreau Joining Forces on "The Lion King"". The Walt Disney Company. September 28, 2016. Archived from the original on September 29, 2016. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
- Fleming Jr., Mike (October 13, 2016). "Disney's Live-Action 'Lion King' Taps Jeff Nathanson As Writer". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 15, 2016. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
- Busch, Jenna (November 30, 2016). "Jon Favreau to Use VR Tech for Live-Action Lion King". ComingSoon.net. Archived from the original on December 2, 2016. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
- Amidi, Amid (September 28, 2016). "Get It Right: Disney Is Doing An Animated—Not Live-Action—Remake of 'The Lion King'". Cartoon Brew. Archived from the original on September 29, 2016. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
- Stidhum, Tonja Renée (June 28, 2019). "The Lion King: Beyoncé's New Secret Song and How She Helped Director Jon Favreau's 'Cool' Stock Rise". The Root. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
- Yell, Joshua (May 30, 2019). "How Jon Favreau Directed The Lion King Inside a Video Game". IGN. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
- "Mark Livolsi, Film Editor on 'The Devil Wears Prada,' 'The Blind Side' and 'The Lion King,' Dies at 56".
- Gonzalez, Sandra (February 18, 2017). "Donald Glover, James Earl Jones cast in Disney's live-action "Lion King"". CNN.
- "Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner to Play Pumbaa and Timon in 'Lion King' (Exclusive)". TheWrap. April 25, 2017. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
- Donnelly, Matt (July 10, 2017). "John Oliver Joins Disney's Live-Action "The Lion King"". TheWrap. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
- Galuppo, Mia (August 7, 2017). "Alfre Woodard Joins Disney's 'The Lion King' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
- 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.
- "Beyoncé Top Choice to Voice Nala in 'Lion King' Remake (Exclusive)". Variety. March 30, 2017. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
- Verhoeven, Beatrice (November 1, 2017). "Beyonce Will Voice Nala in Live-Action Adaptation of 'The Lion King'". TheWrap. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
- Pallotta, Frank (November 2, 2017). "Beyoncé joins cast of Disney's live-action 'Lion King'". cnn.com. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
- "Shahadi Wright Joseph – Playbill Vault". Playbill.
- "Chiwetel Ejiofor Will Voice Scar in The Lion King". Retrieved August 7, 2017.
- Smith, Reiss (November 2, 2017). "The Lion King: 2019 release date, cast including Beyoncé, plot synopsis and more". express.co.uk. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
- "'Lion King's' Young Simba Actor Signs With ICM Partners (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. November 2, 2017. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
- "Shahadi Wright Joseph as Young Nala". New York Daily News. November 2, 2017. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
- Donnelly, Matt (November 26, 2018). "'Lion King' Adds Amy Sedaris in Original Voice Role (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety.
- "THE LION KING – The Art of VFXThe Art of VFX". www.artofvfx.com. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
- 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.
- "The Lion King". Girish Balakrishnan. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
- Faughnder, Ryan (July 26, 2019). "'The Lion King's' VR helped make a hit. It could also change movie making". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
- 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.
- Ha, Anthony (July 30, 2019). "How the new 'Lion King' came to life". TechCrunch. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
- @Jon_Favreau (July 26, 2019). "This is the only real shot in #TheLionKing. There are 1490 rendered shots created by animators and CG artists. I slipped in one single shot that we actually photographed in Africa to see if anyone would notice. It is the first shot of the movie that begins The Circle of Life" (Tweet). Archived from the original on July 28, 2019 – via Twitter.
- Hood, Cooper (November 1, 2017). "Hans Zimmer Set to Score Disney's Live-Action The Lion King". Screen Rant. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
- "Elton John will make millions with live-action remake of The Lion King". New York Daily News. November 28, 2017. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
- "Beyoncé and Elton John were reportedly working on new versions of The Lion King songs". NME. November 29, 2017. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
- "Sir Elton John confirms new Tim Rice collaboration for Disney's The Lion King remake". Digital Spy. February 10, 2018. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
- Welk, Brian (July 19, 2019). "'The Lion King': What Was That Elton John Song During the Credits?". TheWrap. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
- Chitwood, Adam (June 24, 2019). "'The Lion King' Soundtrack Details Revealed; Includes New Elton John Song". Collider. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
- Strauss, Matthew (July 9, 2019). "Beyoncé Releasing New Song "Spirit" Tonight, Curates Lion King Album". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
- 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.
- Highfill, Samantha (February 24, 2019). "The Lion King puts Mufasa front and center in new poster". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
- Dupre, Elyse (April 10, 2019). "The Lion King's New Trailer Will Make You Go Wild". E! Online. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
- "Disney's Investor Day 2019 Webcast". The Walt Disney Company. April 11, 2019. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
- Wade, Jessie (May 30, 2019). "Disney Releases New Lion King Character Posters". IGN. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
- Nissen, Dano (June 3, 2019). "Hear Beyoncé as Nala in New 'Lion King' Trailer". Variety. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
- "Beyoncé and Donald Glover Harmonize in 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight' Ad Preview". Variety. June 20, 2019. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
- Choe, Brandon (July 2, 2019). "'The Lion King' Stars Face Their Characters In New Posters; Disney Shows Off New Footage". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
- Sharf, Zack (April 18, 2019). "'The Lion King' Is Not A Shot-for-Shot Remake, Jon Favreau Says". IndieWire. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
- Bahr, Lindsey (April 30, 2019). "Summer Movie Preview: 'The Lion King' roars again". Associated Press. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
- Busch, Jenna (May 30, 2019). "From The Set: Jon Favreau On the Challenges and Changes in The Lion King". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
- Knight, Lewis (July 5, 2019). "The Lion King 2019 run time revealed – is it longer than the original?". Daily Mirror. Retrieved July 7, 2019.
- Aiello, McKenna (July 9, 2019). "All the Star Sightings From the The Lion King's First Premiere Are So '90s". E! News. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
- Lesnick, Silas (April 25, 2017). "Disney Movie Release Schedule Gets a Major Update". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
- 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.
- Tartaglione, Nancy (July 11, 2019). "'The Lion King' Poised To Pounce On $50M-$60M In Early China Opening – Preview". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
- "The Lion King DVD Release Date". DVDs Release Dates. September 16, 2019. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
- Tartaglione, Nancy (July 21, 2019). "Cat's Meow: 'The Lion King' Rises To $531M Global In 10 Days; 'Aladdin' & 'Spider-Man' Each Near $1B WW – International Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
- Mendelson, Scott (August 11, 2019). "'The Lion King' Just Broke A Disney Box Office Record, But It's Not Exactly Clear Which One". Forbes. Retrieved August 12, 2019.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (June 25, 2019). "'The Lion King' Roars In First Day Advance Ticket Sales Breaking Disney Live-Action Records For Fandango & Atom". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (June 27, 2019). "Is Disney's Live-Action 'The Lion King' Headed To A July Opening Record?". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
- Rubin, Rebecca (June 27, 2019). "Box Office: 'Lion King' Tracking Mighty $150 Million-Plus Opening Weekend". Variety. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (July 22, 2019). "'Lion King' Rips Up July & Disney Remake Records With $191.8M Opening – Monday Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
- Rubin, Rebecca (July 22, 2019). "Box Office: 'The Lion King' Rules With $192 Million Debut". Variety. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
- McClintock, Pamela (July 22, 2019). "'The Lion King': All the Box Office Records Broken". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (July 27, 2019). "Hooray For 'Hollywood': Quentin Tarantino Sees His Biggest B.O. Opening Of All-Time With $40M+ As 'Lion King' Still Lords With $76M+ – Sunday Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 27, 2019.
- Golum, Rob (July 28, 2019). "'Lion King' and Tarantino's Hollywood Tale Boost Box Office". Bloomberg News. Retrieved July 30, 2019.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 4, 2019). "'Hobbs & Shaw' West Coast Business Driving Pic To $60M, But Looks To Overseas For More Muscle". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
- Bean, Travis (August 5, 2019). "Box Office: 'The Lion King' Now The 19th-Highest Earner Of All Time". Forbes. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
- Jeremy Fuster (August 22, 2019). "'The Lion King' Crosses $500 Million Domestic, Will Soon Pass 'Beauty and the Beast'". The Wrap. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
- Tartaglione, Nancy (July 14, 2019). "'Spider-Man: Far From Home' Lassos $847M Global & Tops Franchise Offshore With $573M; 'Lion King' Reigns In China – International Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
- "Box Office: 'It: Chapter Two' Balloons to $94 Million Overseas". Variety. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
- "The Lion King (2019) – International Box Office results". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
- "The Lion King (2019) – Financial Information". The Numbers. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- "Tarantino's 'Hollywood' Has Bountiful $54M Overseas Weekend, Tops 'Django' In Debuts; 'Hobbs & Shaw' Muscles In On $437M WW – International Box Office". Deadline. Retrieved September 1, 2019.
- "The Lion King rules SA box office". Gadget. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
- "Austria Yearly Box Office". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
- "Belgium and Luxembourg Yearly Box Office". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- "Bulgaria Yearly Box Office". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved September 12, 2019.
- "France and Algeria, Monaco, Morocco and Tunisia Yearly Box Office". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- "IT Chapter 2 is First at The Italian Boxoffice of The Weekend, While The Lion King Touches 33 million Euros". Tamil Rockrs. Retrieved September 9, 2019.
- "Lithuania Yearly Box Office". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- "Norway Yearly Box Office". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved September 10, 2019.
- "Portugal and Angola Yearly Box Office". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- "Russia (CIS) Yearly Box Office". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
- "Slovenia Yearly Box Office". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
- "Sweden Yearly Box Office". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
- "Switzerland Yearly Box Office". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved September 12, 2019.
- "Spain Yearly Box Office". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
- "Poland Yearly Box Office". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
- "The Lion King Tops The Avengers to Become 7th Biggest Movie of All Time, With $1.564 Billion at Worldwide Box Office". NDTV. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
- "Animation comes to life in India with box office, streaming success". Livemint. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
- "It: Chapter Two' rules box office in $88m worldwide session, 'Downton Abbey' storms UK (update)". Screendaily. Retrieved September 17, 2019.
- "The Lion King (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved September 6, 2019.
- "The Lion King (2019) Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
- Turan, Kenneth (July 11, 2019). "Review: Disney's photo-real 'The Lion King' remake sings a new yet familiar tune". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
- McCarthy, Todd (July 11, 2019). "The Lion King: Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
- Bradshaw, Peter (July 11, 2019). "The Lion King review: deepfake copycat ain't so grrreat". The Guardian. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
- Mendelson, Scott (July 11, 2019). "'The Lion King' Review: Be Prepared For A Crushing Disappointment". Forbes. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
- Ehrlich, David (July 11, 2019). "'The Lion King' Review: Disney's Remake Is a Disastrous Plunge into the Uncanny Valley". IndieWire.
- "Lion King 2019 vs. the original: what's better and worse about the remake". Vox. Vox Media. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
- Bucksbaum, Sydney. "Billy Eichner's best lines as Timon in The Lion King remake". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
- Dowd, A.A. (July 11, 2019). "Be prepared for the photorealistic cruddiness of Disney's pointless Lion King remake". The A.V. Club. Retrieved July 11, 2019.
- Klemme, Kelsey (September 4, 2019). "2019 People's Choice Awards: Complete List of Nominees". E! Online. Archived from the original on September 4, 2019. Retrieved September 4, 2019.
- Harris, LaTesha; Harris, LaTesha (November 5, 2019). "'Joker,' 'Lion King,' 'Us' Lead 2019 Hollywood Music in Media Awards Nominees". Variety. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
- "'2019 HPA Awards". HPAonline.com. November 21, 2019. Retrieved November 21, 2019.
- "2nd NFTA Awards". www.nationalfilmandtvawards.com. Retrieved December 03, 2019. Check date values in:
- [hhttps://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/84485-highest-grossing-film-remake "Highest-grossing remake at the global box office"]. guinnessworldrecods. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
- "Golden Globes: Full List of Nominations". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
- "Beyoncé". Grammy.com. The Recording Academy. November 20, 2019.
- "Queen & Slim lead Black Reel Awards".
- "24th Satellite Awards Announce Nominations, 'Ford v Ferrari' Leads the Way".