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Donald Glover is going to be the mane event in Disney's live-action version of "The Lion King." And he'll be joined by an actor whose voice is as legendary as they come.
Glover has been cast as Simba in the studio's new take on the 1994 animated classic.
James Earl Jones has also come aboard the project. He will play Mufasa, reprising the role he previously voiced.
Matthew Broderick and Jonathan Taylor Thomas shared the role of Simba in the animated film, voicing the older and younger versions of the character, respectively.
Director Jon Favreau broke the news on Twitter.
He tweeted a picture of Glover with a caption referencing "Lion King" tune, "I Just Can't Wait to Be King."
No word yet on any other returning voices, or on what (if any) structural changes might be in play for the new movie that might affect casting. But this is the biggest news on the net for Glover right now—looks like his big acting break is upon him!
The official statement by Disney is sparse on details, and describes the new movie only as "a new reimagining" of the original. Favreau's recent successes have been in the area of live-action remakes of animated classics such as The Jungle Book (which has been a critical and box-office success since its release); this has led many to interpret the announcement as meaning that the new Lion King will be similarly live-action in nature. But that's just speculation, and it could be entirely without merit. It might just as easily be as fully traditionally animated as the original for all we know. But Disney does say the new movie "follows" the "technologically groundbreaking" Jungle Book, so speculation that this will be another in the same vein isn't likely to be off-base.
What we do know is that the new movie is supposed to include songs from the original movie, so it probably won't stray too far from the source material. We don't know anything else yet, including voice cast, creative staff, or release date. But all that is sure to come.
Time to breathe some life back into this franchise, it seems!
The new 2-disc album contains all the movie's songs, naturally, but also mixes in some 30 minutes of never-before-officially-released instrumental score material, with track titles such as "I Was Just Trying to Be Brave Score" and "We Are All Connected Score". Many of these score tracks also feature "demo" alternative versions on the second disc, which are discussed in the new liner notes by producer Don Hahn and composer Hans Zimmer. There are also song tracks such as "The Morning Report" and "Warthog Rhapsody", which were not part of the original theatrical release—being added to the Special Edition in the former case, and cut from the final version in the latter.
Enthusiasts of the movie's soundtrack will no doubt be all over this release, which retails at Amazon.com for around $15.
Updated: Kion is said to be the second-born child of Simba, and so the series is canon with the existing movies. Kiara will play a role in the TV series, which will debut with a direct-to-video movie, according to Disney's own blog.
The series will be about Kion, the son of the now-grown “Lion King” protagonist Simba, who assembles a group of animals to help him protect the jungle prideland as part of a group called the Lion Guard.
“It’s kind of like ‘The Lion King’ meets ‘The Avengers,’” said Disney Junior general manager Nancy Kanter.
Full article and some nice developmental art here (though it remains to be seen how well the art will translate to production).
Next November is a long way off, so we can expect a long period of information trickling in on what kind of expansions to the canon cast and universe we can expect to see.
Also, in advance of this, on September 16, the new 3D version will begin a theatrical run. This will be the first time TLK has been seen in general theatrical release since the IMAX version began its circulation in 2002.
BURBANK, Calif. (May 26, 2011) — Simba, Mufasa, Nala, Timon and Pumbaa are back and better than ever this fall when Disney’s “The Lion King” roars into theaters and homes in breathtaking 3D. A special two-week theatrical extravaganza kicks off Sept. 16, 2011, showcasing the Oscar®- and Golden Globe®-winning film on the big screen in Disney Digital 3D™ for the first time ever, and its highly anticipated home entertainment debut kicks off October 4, celebrating the Diamond Edition release of the epic movie “The Lion King” in high-definition Blu-ray™ and Blu-ray 3D™.
Get the full press release at Christian's Cartoon Corner.
That's right: eight discs. That includes the original movie in:
- Blu-Ray 3D
- Digital copy
On top of that, both Simba's Pride and TLK 1 ½ are included in both Blu-Ray and DVD formats.
The whole thing lists for $100, but you can preorder it at Amazon for $79.99.
The trailer from the last news is indeed on the "Beauty and the beast" Blu-Ray, but in much better quality than the youtube version. In other words 1080p with four different audio tracks. So far it's looking very good.
The trailer appears in full 1080p, with four different audio tracks, and can be accessed under the "Bonus Features" section. The detail is striking, though it will inevitably put on display a few of the shortcuts taken in the original animation that was made clear in the IMAX re-release, which has a much higher effective resolution than the 35mm print for which the film was animated. It remains to be seen whether Disney will have done any further touch-ups to enhance the detail in background characters that now show up on modern screens.
The Blu-ray release that the trailer advertises remains slated for fall 2011. Head over to s-tlk.org for 1920x1080 screenshots and more details.
First, Hahn revealed that Beauty And The Beast isn’t the only Disney classic about to go 3D. A certain cartoon starring a warthog and a meerkat will be returning to cinemas too. “I’m actually trying to work out a 3D conversion of The Lion King. I’ll be doing that when I go back to the States in a couple of weeks,” he said, explaining that we shouldn’t expect to see it for a while yet, since the Disney boffins are taking their time in making Simba, Zazu et al pop out of the screen. “It’s going to be spectacular – we will do a good job for ya! The technology is tremendous. We did A Nightmare Before Christmas a few years ago and Tim thought it was better than the original because it allows you to walk onto the set.”
Read the original article for more about this interview with Hahn, and to make up your own mind about how good it will look (especially if you've seen the other 3D adaptations he mentions).
Thanks to Ryan and Michael!
Now, thanks to a tip from someone aware of Disney's retail schedules, we've gotten word of the studio's plans for its tentpole titles. This year's anticipated Diamond Editions are still on track to make it to stores in 2010. Beauty and the Beast is slated to make its Blu-ray debut in October, with Fantasia and Fantasia 2000 following in December. Meanwhile, already heavily-marketed Dumbo, which isn't part of the Diamond line but was clearly intended for re-release this week, won't arrive until February 2011 (rendering its proposed 70th Anniversary Edition moniker more accurate). Beyond that, a big October 2011 splash is expected for one of Disney's biggest all-time titles; The Lion King is set to bow on Blu-ray then.
Also, TheDigitalBits writes:
Thanks to the crafty "ask"-manship of Bits reader Thomas R., we now know when Disney tentatively plans to release its new Blu-ray edition of the original Tron! Look for it in November (a month before the theatrical debut of the new Tron Legacy sequel), or so says Jeremy Sheer who administers the Disney Movie Rewards program's Facebook site. He also posts word there that Disney currently has The Lion King set for BD release in October of 2011. Bang-up job, Jeremy!
Naturally, take these rumors as just that: unofficial scuttlebutt. But we know it'll happen sooner or later. The only question is whether the transfer quality will be all we hope for from a true HD medium... or if all that resolution will only magnify flaws we never realized were there. Oh, and whether they'll include a "theatrical" version without the "Morning Report" song.
Thanks to Lindsay M. for the tip!
No word as yet on what that date will be, of course; also uncertain is whether this release date will coincide with any release schedule for Disney's more tightly-guarded features on digital download sites such as iTunes, whether for rental or purchase.
Information courtesy of s-tlk.