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Disney announces live-action remake of ‘The Lion King’

LOS ANGELES: Walt Disney Studios is teaming up with director Jon Favreau for a live-action remake of “The Lion King,” one of the most successful animated movies in history, the company said Wednesday.

The production will build on Disney’s lucrative success reimagining its classics for contemporary audiences in films such as “Maleficent,” “Cinderella” and “The Jungle Book.”

“We can officially confirm that the Walt Disney Studios and director Jon Favreau are putting a new reimagining of ‘The Lion King’ on the fast track to production,” the studio said in a statement without announcing a release date.

“The project follows the technologically groundbreaking smash hit ‘The Jungle Book,’ directed by Favreau, which debuted in April and has earned $965.8 million worldwide.”

Like the hotly anticipated “Beauty and the Beast,” starring Emma Watson and due for release next year, “The Lion King” will include songs from the animated film, Disney said.

The studio has previously announced it is also working with Favreau on a sequel to “The Jungle Book,” although no release date has been announced for that, either.

Released in 1994, “The Lion King” became one of the biggest animated films of all time with a lifetime global box-office gross of just under $1 billion.

It won Oscars for the song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” by Elton John and Tim Rice, and for its score by Hans Zimmer, plus two Grammy Awards, with the soundtrack selling more than 14 million copies.

The stage production made its Broadway debut in 1997 and went on to win six Tony Awards.

Translated into eight languages, the film’s 23 global productions have been seen by more than 85 million people. Its worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in history.



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