On Thanksgiving, Disney unveiled the very first trailer for the live-action Lion King, for lack of a better description. But in addition to the goosebump-inducing teaser trailer, Disney also dropped the very first teaser poster for the film, and it is “totes adorbs” as they say. While described as live-action, The Lion King is actually mostly CGI. Director Jon Favreau revisits the same technology he used to bring The Jungle Book to life a few years ago, but whereas that film was anchored by a real human boy, The Lion King is wall-to-wall animation. Where this new movie differs from the 1994 film is that this version boasts high-tech photoreal CG animation, as opposed to the 2D animation that first brought Simba, Scar, and the whole gang into our lives over 20 years ago.
We’ll no doubt learn a lot more about how, exactly, Favreau and Co. pulled this whole thing off down the line, but for now it’s simply a marvel to behold. Even this teaser poster, which hints towards the two versions of Simba we meet in the context of the story, is absolutely gorgeous.
There are already complaints that this film is just a shot-for-shot remake of the 1994 film, but we don’t necessarily know that for sure. For one, this new version has a screenplay credited to Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can), which means a new script was written. Favreau certainly put his own twist on The Jungle Book while maintaining the spirit of the original Disney classic and I expect he’ll do the same here, toeing a line similar to how Bill Condon approached Beauty and the Beast a few years back.
But honestly, even if this were a shot-for-shot remake, it’d probably still clean up at the box office. Disney’s track records with these “live-action remake” movies has been stellar thus far, and 2019 will bring us further into the nostalgia-heavy 1990s era of Disney classics with The Lion King and Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin. Hold on to your butts, folks.
Check out the Lion King live-action remake poster below. The film stars Donald Glover as Simba, Beyonce Knowles-Carter as Nala, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Bill Eichner as TImon, Seth Rogen as Pumba, Alfre Woodard as Sarabi, John Kani as Rafiki, and James Earl Jones reprises his role as Mufasa. The Lion King opens in theaters on July 19, 2019.