During a set visit to The Lion King, we bore witness to the evolution of Disney’s vision for the latest remake. Every time a classic tale is reimagined, fans of the original wonder what will change while also hoping the core elements stay the same. Which way will the story of Simba (Donald Glover) lean?
While the plot was locked in before the digital work began, thanks to not only the original but also the efforts of Disney’s story team who challenged details early on, director Jon Favreau had his own tweaks to incorporate. The photorealistic depictions of everyone from Nala (Beyoncé) to Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor) are meant to inspire children with memories of the animated version, but this time different themes may be highlighted.
This time around, The Lion King will focus more on the “Circle of Life” – and not just by refining the look of musical sequence, which fans first caught sight of at D23. “I want to highlight what’s in there from the original, and that’s the whole circle of life. Bad things happen, good things happen. Not every scene in the movie is fun to watch,” Favreau explained. After all, the original animated film is known for one of the most gut-wrenching plot twists in Disney history. “But ultimately what I like about it is that, somehow after that whole experience, you walk away feeling inspired and hopeful. Which is how I like my stories.”
There’s no doubt that the heightened realism of the environments and characters which populate the updated version of The Lion King will make those bad things hit even harder. But the painstaking care put into every new setting and iconic song will hopefully take the moments of triumph to new heights, as well.
Favreau acknowledged that the power of The Lion King has to do with the story’s preexisting structure, especially because a tragedy’s effectiveness “depends where you put the comma.” He even joked, “If you end after Mufasa dies? Different movie.” Aside from that powerful moment, though, there was a lot about the film that impacted him and therefore inspired him during the remake’s production process. “It’s moving, it still gets me, and the music also has a lot of soulfulness in it.”
The lasting impact of Disney’s classic film is sure to carry through into this remake, considering how much passion has been put into its creation. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and stay tuned to Screen Rant for more coverage from the Lion King set visit.