The Lion King - First Look

Disney have finally unveiled their first look at next year’s updated adaptation of the 1994 classic The Lion King, revealing a teaser trailer and poster.

The film is helmed by Jon Favreau, who recently directed Disney’s latest 2016 iteration of The Jungle Book. The film went on to become a huge commercial success and sees Disney consistently producing updated re-makes of their back catalogue. In previous years we have seen reimagining’s of the Sleeping Beauty tale through the Angelina Jolie fronted Maleficent, Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella and last year’s Beauty and the Beast. In 2020, Disney will also be releasing a remake of Mulan, which is already in production as well as Maleficent II.

It is therefore no surprise that Disney are re-making The Lion King after a series of consistent hits. The footage in the teaser trailer re-creates the original film’s opening Circle of Life sequence in a very faithful way, establishing a spectacular visual aesthetic, proving that the film will be very faithful to the original. The film’s many touchstones from the original will not only be the original songs but also the return of James Earl Jones, who shall once again voice Mufasa, and his voice-over can be heard in the teaser trailer.

There has been much debate over whether the film can be classed as live-action or simply an animated one, as it is entirely CG imagery, otherwise known as a photorealistic computer-animated remake. Favreau is under a lot of pressure to deliver a reimagining that has to live up to the legacy of the original, yet with this first look, he possesses the confidence and technicality to do so.

The film also boasts an impressive cast, including Donald Glover, Seth Rogan, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Beyoncé.

The Lion King will hit cinemas on 19 July 2019.