With Beauty and the Beast having firmly crossed the $1 billion mark at the box office, Disney is ready to date another live-action remake of one of its 90s animated classics. We learned a few months ago that the studio was moving full-speed ahead on a live-action The Lion King, and now director Jon Favreau has announced on Twitter that the film will hit theaters on July 19, 2019.
That may feel like really far away, but Favreau is expected to use the same technology he employed on The Jungle Book to bring these animals to life, so post-production will be a labor-intensive process. Casting is already well underway with Donald Glover onboard to voice Simba and James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa, and Favreau and Disney are reportedly pursuing Beyonce to sign on and lend her voice to the role of Nala.
Jeff Nathanson, the screenwriter behind Catch Me If You Can and Disney’s upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, is penning the script for this “live-action” update, and it’ll be interesting to see how closely it hews to the animated feature. The Jungle Book was a bit of a departure from the Disney classic, especially in relation to the lack of songs, but with The Lion King the intention is to maintain the iconic songs from the original.
This is just one of many live-action updates on Disney’s calendar. Next on deck after Beauty and the Beast is Mulan, which has a release date of November 2, 2018 and has Niki Caro (Whale Rider) attached to direct. But Disney is also moving forward with Aladdin, with Guy Ritchie directing. Casting is underway on Aladdin, which will be a musical, and it could very well take the August 3, 2018 release date currently staked out for “Untitled Disney Live-Action” since filming is supposed to get underway this summer.