The news is true: A live-action reboot of The Lion King, courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures and director Jon Favreau, is on its way. But, considering The Lion King is about anthropomorphic lion and other jungle animals, I gotta wonder: how will The Lion King reboot be live-action? Unless science has progressed to a point where we've figured out not only how to talk to/understand animals, but also how to make them say and sing what we want, then I'm not sure how exactly we're planning on addressing this. As it turns out, though, there's no need to start digging through science journals, because Disney has already tackled a challenge like this with their recent release, The Jungle Book — live-action, and about animals.
As you may recall, that film also relies heavily on talking animals in the form of voice actors — although there is also a human child, Mowgli, to give you a break from the CGI. Favreau also directed The Jungle Book, and considering he'll be helming The Lion King, he'll be able to bring along everything he learned (including how best to approximate live-action talking animals). According to The Hollywood Reporter, he'll likely accomplish this feat with "cutting edge technology and a green-screen set in a Los Angeles studio," for a finished product that "won’t be live-action per se but will definitely look it."
It's an elaborate process, as you can see from the behind-the-scenes clip below, but well worth it — the results are stunning.
In Favreau's own words, he saw The Jungle Book as "an opportunity to take the best of the animation process and the best of motion-capture, and the best of live-action." He continued, in a featurette for the film: "You combine those things — you can do something nobody's done before." Well, this time around, one person has done it before — Favreau himself, with The Jungle Book. I have a feeling he'll have no trouble helming The Lion King live-action reboot into just as much of a masterpiece.
Image: Walt Disney Animation