Disney’s “live action” remake of The Lion King is coming to theatres next summer, and we’ve got a new teaser trailer to help tide us over.
We have to get something out of the way right off the bat. Disney is billing this as a “live action” remake, but there’s nothing live action about it. Everything is done in CG, with nary a single live animal to be found.
If you really wanted to impress us, Disney, you’d get a menagerie of trained mandrills, hyenas, and lions, and do this whole movie in the same style as Homeward Bound. But nope! It’s all CG all the time, cheapskates.
Anyways. If you’re a big fan of the original animated feature film, then you’re probably going to find no problems with the CG remake. We’re only given a minute-long teaser, but from what we’re shown it looks like the remake will remain pretty close to the source material, even going so far as casting an 87-year-old James Earl Jones as Mufasa.
At first, the trailer just shows a few dazzling landscape shots with the bassy voice of Mr. Jones reminding us of the earlier film, but then we get the full CG treatment as we’re shown a few brief shots of the many creatures that inhabit the African savannah. At one point we’re given a tease of the wildebeest stampede scene where (SPOILER ALERT) Mufasa gets offed, but otherwise our first look is at the opening scene where Simba is anointed as the heir to the throne.
Rafiki is our first named character to make an appearance, and he seems to be an even older and more wizened mandrill than portrayed in the animated film. Next up is baby Simba who is essentially a tiny yellow furball. In fact, the faux-fur technology that drives Pikachu’s yellow tufts in the upcoming Detective Pikachu film looks an awful lot like how Simba’s follicles quiver in the breeze. Just saying.
We know that Donald Glover will voice adult Simba, while JD McCrary takes duty for young Simba. Beyonce continues her reign as queen while being cast as Nala, while Dr. Strange star Chiwetel Ejiofor must be prepared for Scar’s Machiavellian scheming.
A trio of funny men in the form of Billy Eichner, Seth Rogan, and John Oliver plays Timon, Pumbaa, and Zazu, respectively, while Jon Favreau stops making Marvel their millions for one second to direct a Disney film.
We don’t know when Lion King drops next summer, but we know it’ll be sometime in the summer of 2019.