Though I’ve personally never understood the draw entirely, live-action Disney remakes are clearly making bank at the box office. The Jungle Book placed fifth in the top ten highest-grossing films of 2016, sandwiched between Deadpool and The Secret Lives of Pets, whereas Beauty and the Beast was the second highest-grossing movie of last year, inevitably losing the top spot to Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Of course, the best of these movies, David Lowery‘s fantastic Pete’s Dragon, landed in 40th place for 2016’s highest-grossing list, landing in the same fiscal terrain as Tate Taylor‘s dreadful adaptation of The Girl on the Train. Still, Lowery’s film made back its money and the studio could even weather an outright dud with the amount of money the other two brought in.
Now, eyes are turning toward Jon Favreau‘s upcoming remake of The Lion King, set for release in 2019, and yesterday brought news that could shake up potential filmgoers. According to The Sun, theater legend Tim Rice, who working on the soundtrack for the animated original, has revealed that only four of the songs from the original soundtrack will be included in the “live-action” version of the film. Rice said that “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?,” “Hakuna Matata,” “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King,” and “Circle of Life” will be included and that he’s looking forward to working with collaborator Elton John and Beyonce on a new song for the end credits.
This means one thing: Scar’s barnburner of a solo, “Be Prepared,” will not be included in the new movie. Now, I’m sure that there’s plenty of plans to give Chiwetel Ejiofor‘s version of Scar his own big number and considering the pedigree of musicians working on the movie, it will likely be good. And to be fair, this also suggests the nixing of the lively “Morning Report” as well. The absence of “Be Prepared” remains a bad omen, however, as these Disney remakes have often evaded giving their villains real character and a sense of their own unique inner lives, an issue that Lowery’s movie smartly subverted. “Be Prepared” is not only an absolute banger, it’s also the song that lets us understand Scar’s fury, insolence, menace, and dedication to his desire to be the king. Like I said, there will likely be something that offers that in some form in the new version, but until I hear it, consider me even more hesitant to get excited for a “live-action” movie made almost entirely by computers.