Be prepared for a spectacular cinematic experience that definitely won’t ruin the original for you…
The Lion King, available from Friday 13 March in Sky Cinema on demand. Cert PG
Remaking cherished films can be a tricky business. Get it right and you can capture the imaginations of a whole new generation of viewers. Get it wrong and you’ve effectively trampled on the precious memories of millions of original fans. Why would you do that? Why?
Disney’s efforts to update some of their most beloved movies have, by and large, been successful. But in terms of all the lofty acclaim these blockbusters have garnered, one stands head and shoulders above the rest. We’re talking, of course, about 2019’s The Lion King, new on Sky Cinema.
Directed by The Jungle Book’s Jon Favreau, and featuring a glittering voice cast (Beyoncé, Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, to name a few), this spectacular retelling of young Simba’s journey from cub to King of Pride Rock will have you roaring your approval. It certainly made studio bosses happy, earning over $1.6 billion at the box office.
Want to know even more about one of the biggest cinematic releases of the last 12 months, not to mention of all time? Here are the cast and crew to fill you in on the making of The Lion King…
Jon Favreau (director)
“All of the new technology that was available, I had finally learned how to use it, by the end of The Jungle Book. A lot of attention is paid to the technology, but these are handmade films. There are animators working on every shot and every environment that you see in the film.”
“The more we looked at it, the more we challenged the story. There were certain things that needed addressing to make it feel more appropriate to this medium. But as far as the characters, the story, the themes, the music, we really felt that people were very connected to the original.”
“I am still a bit in shock that I’m a part of the this film, because I grew up loving The Lion King. It’s so much nostalgia for me, and it’s the first Disney movie that brought me to tears.”
“It was important to the director that Nala and the other females in this film were heroes and he put Nala right alongside Simba in the big fight, and I thought that was really interesting and very real, because the women are… we’re the fighters.”
(Via Good Morning America)
Donald Glover (Simba)
“Jon was really good about the Circle of Life having a major hand in it. I really feel that it’s good to make movies that are global and metropolitan, in the sense of the citizens of the world, and making sure that we talk about how connected we are right now because it’s the first time that we’ve really been able to talk to everybody, at the same time. It’s a necessary thing, and I felt like he was really good about talking about that, from the beginning. He did that on The Jungle Book, too.”
“I never hesitated for a moment. I guess the only thing really scary is singing with Beyoncé. That’s the only part where I’m like, “Y’all sure y’all want me to do this?””
Chiwetel Ejiofor (Scar)
“In so many ways, the original is just this extraordinary event. It’s so iconic. It’s exciting to even get the opportunity to begin a journey like this and to go into any of these characters, and the part of Scar is an extraordinary part to play.”
Billy Eichner (Timon)
“Usually because of logistics or people’s schedules, you record your part separate from the other voice actors, and they just edit it together in post and make it sound like you were all in the same room. For this movie, we were always together. Even the scenes with Donald, we were all there for “Hakuna Matata”. It allowed us to really lean into our improv skills.”
Seth Rogen (Pumbaa)
“Weirdly it’s one of the most naturalistic performances I’ve ever given, and I play a warthog.”
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Image credits: The Lion King © Disney