As Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast appears headed to a record-shattering March box office debut – the film earned an estimated $63 million at the box office Friday and is looking at a three-day take of $170 million – the studio is wasting no time charging ahead with its other live-action adaptations. Word about when Tim Burton will begin shooting Dumbo, his live-action update of the animated classic, surfaced this week; earlier this month, the cast for the flying elephant tale started to come together, including the addition of Burton movie veterans Eva Green and Danny DeVito.

Another highly anticipated Disney live-action production is director Jon Favreau’s remake of The Lion King, the 1994 animated blockbuster that spawned a smash Broadway musical adaptation from acclaimed director Julie Taymor, as well as the production Festival of the Lion King at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom and Hong Kong Disney.

My Entertainment World, which lists upcoming film projects, revealed details of The Lion King production. Work on the film will reportedly begin sometime in May and it will shoot in Los Angeles. The site also reveals the synopsis of the film, which hearkens the story from the original animated tale:

Set in the African Savannah, the story told of a young lion named Simba who loses his father Mufasa thanks to his evil uncle Scar, and is cast out into far reaches of the wilderness. Years later, he returns to reclaim his throne.

lion king live action disney writer Disney’s Live Action The Lion King Starts Production in May

News of the start of production of The Lion King is the latest in the exciting slate of news coming out about the production. Perhaps the biggest announcement to date is the casting of James Earl Jones, who will reprise his role as the voice of Mufasa. The Darth Vader voice actor will be accompanied by one of the latest additions to the Star Wars family – Donald Glover – who will provide the voice of the adult Simba. Glover is currently in production on the untitled young Han Solo anthology Star Wars film, playing the young Lando Calrissian to fellow scoundrel Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich). Disney has also hired screenwriter Jeff Nathanson (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) to pen The Lion King script.

Set in the same sort of environs as his stunning 2016 live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic The Jungle Book, Favreau is clearly the perfect choice to be at the helm of perhaps the biggest project yet to come out of the Mouse House. With Beauty and the Beast likely to eclipse the billion-dollar mark at the worldwide box office, The Lion King needs a director who’s not only endured the pressures of remaking a timeless animated classic in a live-action setting, but one who’s delivered big results (The Jungle Book finished with a worldwide gross of $966.5 million).

So, to put the production in the hands of a director like Favreau – who expertly created a CGI world for The Jungle Book, which was populated with all but one motion-capture performance – is key. The Lion King promises to be another CGI-heavy production, which explains why Los Angeles is the location of the production. With any luck, Favreau will bring back his Oscar-winning visual effects team to create the world of The Lion King, and complete the wonderful circle of cinematic life that kicked off with the animated film 23 years ago.

Next: Kung Fu Panda & Lion King Writers Developing New Animated Films

Source: My Entertainment World

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