Disney remaking 'The Lion King' as live-action movie

Jon Favreau will direct; No release date set
Disney remaking 'The Lion King' as live-action movie
Posted at 10:19 AM, Sep 28, 2016

The king will return.

Disney is remaking its beloved 1994 animated film "The Lion King" as a live-action movie. The company announced the new project on its website Wednesday.

"We can officially confirm that The Walt Disney Studios and director Jon Favreau are putting a new reimagining of 'The Lion King' on the fast track to production," a release from the company stated.

Favreau — a Hollywood staple since he wrote and co-starred in the 1996 cult hit "Swingers" — has directed a trio of massive box-office hits under the Disney umbrella. Favreau's films "Iron Man," "Iron Man 2" and 2016's "The Jungle Book" made a combined $2.1 billion worldwide.

With a live-action "reimagining" of "The Lion King," Disney is continuing a trend of revisiting its animated classics. In addition to "The Jungle Book," the studio has remade "Cinderella" and has also revisited "Sleeping Beauty" with the 2014 live-action movie "Maleficent."

A remake of 1991's "Beauty and the Beast" is set for release in March 2017.

Revisiting "The Lion King" may be Disney's biggest gamble yet given the stellar reputation of the 1994 version. But given the continued success of Broadway's live-action "The Lion King" musical, maybe audiences are still ready to say, "Hakuna Matata" after all these years.

Clint Davis covers entertainment and trending news topics for the Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.