Having successfully adapted The Jungle Book to live-action earlier this year, Jon Favreau was subsequently announced as helming an adaptation of another animated Disney classic The Lion King, adding a second project to his slate after the planned sequel to The Jungle Book.
Speaking to Collider, Favreau has revealed that he intends on shooting both projects back-to-back, beginning with The Lion King, stating that: “I know from having worked on two superhero movies back to back, these take many, many, many years. I was working on Marvel movies for like four years back-to-back. It’s a big chunk of your life and you have to make sure that you’re excited and can bring all of your attention and concentration to bear on this, because they are really big puzzles. Every film is a puzzle you have to solve – these highly technical ones are like 3D chess.”
Favreau also went on to discuss the challenges of adapting The Lion King, particularly as unlike The Jungle Book, the cast will consist entirely of animal characters:
“With Lion King, there you have such a strong original film, and then there was a theater production of it as well in a different medium that was very well received and successful and still continues to play. And you have a lot of people with very deep memories and connections to those properties so you want to make sure that, even though the story is very strong, you want to make sure it translates well to yet another medium and doesn’t feel like it’s duplicating or trying to outdo what was done in another medium… So the trick is can you make it look like you actually found real animals in a real environment? And how do you translate the story through that? And in that sense, what we learned on Jungle Book as we got into the photorealism of the environments and the characters, the behavior of the animals, how do you use the lessons you learned there, but adjust it to the tone of what Lion King is? Because I think that when you hear the opening song, when you see those images, the photography of it, even in 2D it is arresting, and I try to imagine what it could be like using the tools that we have today and could we make audiences feel the same way and retell the same myth using these new tools?”
As yet, there’s no word on a release date for either The Lion King or The Jungle Book 2.