Stop everything you’re doing, because Disney has just announced some seriously epic remake news: there’s going to be a new Lion King movie. Hakuna matata, some are saying - but not everyone is "feeling the love tonight" about the news.
The announcement comes 22 years after the original animated film was released in 1994. This one will be what they call a "live-action" movie, which cleverly combines real life actors and computer-generated imagery, and will be directed by Jon Favreau. He was behind this year’s new version of The Jungle Book, which critics raved about. Favreautook to social media to announce his excitement about the remake.
While he's enjoying this "circle of life" - and others have expressed excitement too - there are some nay-sayers out there in Lion King fan land. This is such a seriously loved movie, stage show and soundtrack that there is some understandable resistance to the remake. While The Jungle Book remake was well received, a whole lot of new versions can be stinkers (did you see the new Footloose?) and does Lion King deserve that?
We're not poo-pooing this before it even drops, we're understanding some of the panicked feelings out there. For many of us, this is the soundtrack of our loves, or our parenting.
For the dedicated Lion King lovers, Disney have assured us that the new version will still feature the hit songs from the original film, including Circle of Life, Hakuna Matata and Can You Feel the Love Tonight. Phew for that - but let's hope they don't become extended play rap versions.
Here's a good reason why Disney is keen to remake this beautiful movie. Lion King is one of Disney’s most long-lasting and lucrative hits, making over $969m USD over its lifetime. The beloved brand also has a hugely successful stage version - it's toured here in Australia several times - which, when combined with the film franchise, makes it the highest grossing entertainment title “in box office history”, says Disney.
The Lion King is the latest classic Disney film to be given a modern-day makeover, after Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and, of course, The Jungle Book. A live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson, is also due for release next year.
How do you feel about the Lion King remake?