Disney took another step in the ongoing circle of life for The Lion King today, releasing the first full trailer of director Jon Favreau’s remarkably realistic “live action” take on the great 1994 traditionally animated film.
“Life’s not fair, is it, my little friend?,” says that dastardly lion Scar, surely one of Disney’s most memorable villains here voiced by Chiwetel Ejiofor. “While some are born to feast, others spend their life in the dark, begging for scraps.” From there we get what amounts to a tour of the savanna, computer-populated with all manner of four-legged characters – lions, giraffes, hyenas, birds, bugs and the old baboon Rafiki.
The trailer confirms that Favreau’s Lion King will follow the story we all know – little Simba is sent into exile by uncle Scar after the death of father/king Mufasa. There’s the father and son surveying their kingdom, the stampede and, finally, the comic relief: Towards the end of the trailer, the majestic musical score gives way to Pumbaa the warthog (Seth Rogen) and meerkat Timon (Billy Eichner) warbling the familiar “wimowehs” of the old folkie singalong “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”
In addition to Rogen, Eichner and Ejiofor, the primary cast includes Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala and James Earl Jones as Mufasa.
Favreau directs from a screenplay by Jeff Nathanson. Producers are Favreau, Jeffrey Silver and Karen Gilchrist.
Disney releases The Lion King to theaters on July 19. Take a look at the trailer above and let us know what you think.