Swinging from their blockbuster collaboration on The Jungle Book, The Walt Disney Studios and helmer Jon Favreau are teaming on a new reimagining of The Lion King. The film is being fast-tracked to production, although no dates have been disclosed. Favreau teased the news via emoticon this morning across his social media:
Excited for my next project 🦁👑
— Jon Favreau (@Jon_Favreau) September 28, 2016
The Lion King builds on Disney’s success of updating and reinventing its classics for a contemporary audience with recent hits like Maleficent ($758.5M WW box office), Cinderella ($543.5M) and The Jungle Book. The latter was a CGI/live action technological marvel that has grossed $965.8M worldwide this year and is globally the No. 4 film of 2016. Disney and Favreau are also in development on a sequel.
Disney’s latest reimagining is the upcoming Beauty And The Beast. In similar fashion to that film, the live-action Lion King will include songs from the original animated pic.
A beloved — and lucrative — property, The Lion King was originally released in 1994 and is one of the highest-grossing animated films of all time with a lifetime global box office of $968.8M. It won Academy Awards for Elton John and Tim Rice’s original song, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and Hans Zimmer’s original score. It also nabbed two Grammy Awards, with the soundtrack selling over 14M copies. In 2011, it was re-released in a 3D version which made $94M.
In 1997, the stage production made its Broadway debut, winning six Tony Awards. Nearly two decades later, it remains one of Broadway’s biggest hits alongside several other productions running around the world, including London, Hamburg, Tokyo, Madrid, Mexico City, Shanghai and North America. The 23 global productions have been seen by more than 85M people across every continent except Antarctica. The Lion King’s worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.
Favreau is exec producing and directing the premiere episode of Fox’s Seth MacFarlane series Orville and has a role in the next Spider-Man pic, Homecoming. He’s also exec producing 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War and the following year’s Untitled Avengers Movie.