The Pride Lands are about to get the live-action treatment as the first teaser for Jon Favreau’s remake of The Lion King has been released. Like most people of my generation, I loved The Lion King growing up. It was the first movie I saw four times in the theater (a record that has since been matched by, unfortunately, The Last Jedi, but I digress), so when they announced this new version I was excited – in part because I knew what Favreau would be bringing to the table, having seen his masterful work on The Jungle Book. Watching this Lion King trailer, I certainly see the echoes of that 2016 juggernaut. The difference here is, having seen the original Lion King far more than the original Jungle Book, I was instantly transported back to the Pride Lands, complete with that first image of the rising sun anchored by the legendary James Earl Jones, who reprises his role of Mufasa for the third time, counting Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride and briefly in The Lion Guard.
Aside from my wish that Jeremy Irons was returning to voice Scar, something the actor had stated he was hoping for himself, my biggest issue with the Lion King trailer is that I feel this is going to extend the problem with the Disney brand. Yes, I got chills from the music and those iconic images, but that’s to be expected from people who grew up loving the original. At the end of the Lion King trailer, Mufasa tells both Simba and the audience to remember. That memory and nostalgia is exactly the response Disney is trying to evoke, and it makes me wonder how much longer this is going to work for the company. The Lion King will do great, and I’ll be there opening day because I love the original and Jones. I’ll support Favreau doing anything. I just hope Disney has a plan for what they’re going to do after the nostalgia credit card is maxed out.
Are you looking forward to returning to Pride Rock? Let us know in the comments!