One of the most iconic scenes from “The Lion King” was transformed as Disney presented work-in-progress footage from Jon Favreau’s upcoming remake at CinemaCon.
The clip featured Mufasa’s bonding time with young Simba, as he teaches his son that “everything the light touches is our kingdom,” with James Earl Jones returning to play the esteemed king.
The footage promises more of the lush, extremely realistic CGI that Favreau and his team brought to the 2016 remake of “The Jungle Book.” Simba and Mufasa look and walk like lions straight out of a nature documentary, with the Pride Lands recreated as an African savannah with perfectly rendered grass that antelopes and elephants traverse through.
CinemaCon attendees also got a first look at John Oliver as Zazu, as he gives Mufasa his rambling morning report until Simba pounces on him. “Come on! It’s the news!” he sputters.
Released 25 years after the original, the remake of “The Lion King” will star alongside Donald Glover, Beyonce Knowles-Carter, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Billy Eichner, Seth Rogen, John Oliver, John Kani, Alfre Woodard, Florence Kasumba, Eric Andre, and Keegan-Michael Key.
“The Lion King” is expected to be one of the highest grossing films of the 2019 box office, as it shares a nostalgia factor enjoyed by the 2017 remake of “Beauty and the Beast.” That remake, released in March, grossed $504 million domestic and $1.26 billion worldwide. It hits theaters July 19.