Disney’s strategy for success in recent years is very simple: It takes the classic animated films already sitting in its vault and has directors adapt them into live action movies with the help of modern CGI (computer-generated image) technology.
Strangely, these new versions of the films are so “animated” by digital effects that they’re sometimes merely just animated remakes of the cartoons — with actors merely providing voices again.
But this apparently matters little, as box office numbers suggest these are the kind of films people want to see right now.
“Cinderella,” released in 2015, earned over $200 million domestically on a $95 million production budget.
The newest version of “The Jungle Book,” released in 2016, earned over $364 million on a $175 million budget.
Last year’s “Beauty and the Beast” earned over $500 million on a $160 million budget.
These successes mean the world is getting many more live action remakes in the future — including “Mulan,” “Dumbo,” “Aladdin,” and “The Lion King.”
“The Lion King,” to be released in July of next year, has just dropped a trailer. Fans of the animated classic will recognize a lot from the original film and some new twists as well, such as voice work from some of the industry’s top talent, including Beyoncé Knowles, Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, and Keegan-Michael Key.
The film also finds 87-year-old James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa.
The newest version of “The Lion King” is directed by Jon Favreau, who previously directed Disney’s successful “Jungle Book” remake.
Fans have been reacting positively to the new version of the beloved tale on social media.
“New Lion King trailer is amazing. I’m billing @Disney for the therapy I’m going to need. As if watching a cartoon Musfasa dying wasn’t traumatic enough, now I can see the light drain from his eyes in IMAX 3D. #TheLionKing,” wrote one Twitter user.
Another said, “I’ve watched the #LionKing trailer at least 54 times since it was released.”
Yet another added, “In love with the new ‘Lion King’ movie.”
“The Lion King” follows the story of a young lion prince (Simba) who is manipulated by his uncle (Scar) into thinking he killed his father, the king (Mufasa).
The young lion runs away and isolates himself, only to later return home to his kingdom to claim his crown and set things right.
The original “Lion King” was released in 1994. (The hit Broadway musical of the same name debuted on the Great White Way in the fall of 1997, by the way. It is still running on Broadway.)
The film remake of “The Lion King” will hit theaters on July 19 of next year.
Check out the new trailer for “The Lion King” below: