The Lion King is a 2019 American musical drama film directed and produced by Jon Favreau, with a screenplay written by Jeff Nathanson, and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. The film stars the voices of Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner, John Kani, John Oliver and Beyonce Knowles- Carter, as well as James Earl Jones reprising his original role as Mufasa.

After the success of the Jungle Book, directed by Favreau. There was plan for a remake of The Lion King 2019 and was confirmed in Sept. 2016. Many of the main caste performed in this film signed in early 2017 and the main production began in mid- 2017 on a blue screen stage in Los Angeles.

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The film is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on July 19, 2019. It received mixed reviews, with praise for its usual effects, soundtrack, and vocal performances, but criticism for being derivatives of the original film, with some critics describing it as ” soulless”.

Development

On September 28, 2016, Walt Disney Pictures confirmed that Jon Favreau would be directing a remake of the 1994 animated film The Lion King, following a string of related movies like Malieficient, Aladin (2019). It was also reported that Jeff Nathanson to write the screenplay for the remake with the story written by Brenda Chapman as original film’s head of story. In November, Favreau said the virtual cinematography technology he used in The Jungle Book would be used to a greater degree in The Lion King. The movie is based on photo-realistic computer generates graphics. It was also stated by Disney that it would follow the “technological groundbreaking” approach of the ‘Jungle Book’. Favreau was inspired by the certain aspects of the remake’s plot, particularly Nala and Sarabi’s role.

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Soundtrack

Hans Zimmer was the composer of the 1994 film. In this film, he will rework as a composer in the remake. Elton John along with Beyoncé assisting John plays a major role in the soundtrack. The song for the end credits is written by John and Rice named “Never Too Late.

The film also features all the songs from the original film, a cover of The Token’s “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 will be physically on July 19, 2019.

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Beyoncé also produced and curated an album titled The Lion King: The Gift, which will feature “Spirit”, as well as songs inspired by the film. The album is set to be released on July 19, 2019.

Caste

In mid-February 2017, Donald Glover was cast as Simba, with James Eral 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.

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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. 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 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. In November 2018, Amy Sedaris was announced as having been cast in a role created for the film.

Animation and Graphics

The visual effects of the film will be provided by the “Moving Picture Company”, the lead vendor of the ‘Jungle Book’ supervised by Robert Legato, Adam Veldaz and Elliot Newman. the film will utilize the “Virtual Reality Tools”. It was said that the filmmakers use ‘motion capture’ and ‘VR/AR Technologies’ trying to present the film in a VR simulated environment. It was stated by Jon (Favreau) that “it’s an evolution of technologies” from the Jungle Book.

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Teaser-Trailer

The first teaser trailer and the official teaser poster for The Lion King debuted on November 22, 2018. A special sneak peek and a new poster released during the 91st Academy Awards on 24th February 2019. On 10th April, 2019, a new trailer was revealed featuring the characters of Scar, Simba, Zazu, Nala, Sarabi, Pumbaa, Rafiki and Timon alon with the three Hyenas. The trailer was viewed 174 million times in its first 24 hours, which  was revealed on Disney’s Investor Day 2019 Webcast.

 A special sneak peek featuring Beyoncé 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.

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Release

The film will be theatrically released on July 19, 2019 in the United States. It will be one of the first theatrical films to be released on Disney+ alongside Aladdin, Toy Story 4.

The film became popular a week before it’s domestic release in China on July 12, 2019.

Box-Office

Beginning on June 24, 2019, The Lion King became the second-best pre-seller of 2019 on Fandango in that frame (behind Avengers: Endgame). Three weeks prior to its release, industry tracking projected the film would gross $150–170 million in its domestic opening weekend.

In China, where it released a week prior to the U.S., the film was projected to debut to $50–60 million. It ended up opening to $54.7 million, besting the debuts of The Jungle Bookand Beauty and the Beast.

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