Hakuna Matata! Disney confirms a live-action remake of The Lion King movie

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The beloved animated film will be remade - and Lion King fans won't have to wait long.

It's the circle of life, business-style. In 1994, Disney released The Lion King in cinemas which became the sixth highest-grossing animated film ever. That inspired a stage show of the same name, which surpassed The Phantom of the Opera to become the top-selling musical, ever.

Now, back to the movies. 

Walt Disney Studios has announced it will "re-imagine" its children's classic, with The Jungle Book director Jon Favreau at the helm

<i>The Lion King</i> - one of the most successful animated films in the world - is being remade by Disney.
The Lion King - one of the most successful animated films in the world - is being remade by Disney. 

 Although a release date hasn't been confirmed, the project is being fast-tracked following Favreau's success with The Jungle Book. 

Naturally, it will include songs from the animated original, written by Elton John and Tim Rice. The soundtrack has sold more than 14 million copies, with John and Rice's ballad Can You Feel the Love Tonight winning best original song at the 1995 Academy Awards.

While the film is reportedly a "live-action" remake, it will – by necessity – include plenty of computer-generated effects, given the absence of human characters. 

Improvisational comedy and role-playing game Dunegons and Dragons helped Jon Favreau in his career as actor, director ...
Improvisational comedy and role-playing game Dunegons and Dragons helped Jon Favreau in his career as actor, director and producer.  Photo: Janie Barrett

The Lion King is the latest in a string of updated classic children's films, including Cinderella, Pete's Dragon, Beauty and the Beast and The Jungle Book

The animated version, which features the voices of Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones and Nathan Lane, has earned almost $US1 billion worldwide.

"The Lion King builds on Disney's success of re-imagining its classics for a contemporary audience with films like Maleficent, Cinderella and The Jungle Book," Disney said on its website.

Nick Afoa as Simba in the stage version of <i>The Lion King</i>.
Nick Afoa as Simba in the stage version of The Lion KingPhoto: Deen van Meer

"The upcoming Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson as Belle, is already one of the most anticipated movies of 2017. Like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King will include songs from the animated film."

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