Television & Film

James Earl Jones And Donald Glover Cast In THE LION KING

Last year Disney announced they were going to move forward with a live action version of the 1994 animated film The Lion King. They also announced that they had tapped The Jungle Book’s Jon Favreau to direct due to the $965.8 million worldwide success he had using virtual reality technology on the remake. Disney is now announcing that they have cast Donald Glover as the loveable Simba and brought back the legendary James Earls Jones as his father, Mufasa.

Disney has not said if the story will be the same as the original or if there will be a revamp of plot. It will still feature the main characters of Simba, Nala, Scar, and Rafiki, however, there could be some new additions. The film will also contain the original songs with possible additions of some new tunes.

This has been a big year for Donald Glover. The Community star and rapper was cast as Lando Calrissian in the untitled Star Wars Han Solo standalone film last October. When Favreau met Glover this past December, he told Glover he sees him every morning when he wakes his son up, who has a photo of Glover (A.K.A. Childish Gambino) on his door.

James Earl Jones has recently reprise his role as the voice of Darth Vader in this past Decembers release of Star Wars: Rogue One.

Favreau announced the casting on his Twitter account. Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) is penning the script.

Initially fans were both excited and curious about how the film would be done. Unlike the new 2017 live action Beauty and the Beast, the entire cast of The Lion King are animals. The virtual reality process Favreau is using basically puts the audience inside a VR visor. They design the environment virtually and build enough of physical set to allow the crew and actors to walk around. They use puppets and figures on sticks to help direct the actors with their movements. The on top of the film, they will use computers to construct the characters.

To record the movement of the main characters who are not human, they use people wearing motion capture suits and recorded the performances and refine the set design at the same time. When they edit the film, they can build the animation and other characters surrounding the actors to match the performance. The final product from these steps are similar to what a person would see in a video game, enough to determine how the film should look, but not a final product for people to see yet.

After this step is accepted, then the refining begins. Due to the expense and time consumption of this part, it done after all the creative decisions have been made. In the end, you have a beautifully realistic feature that has blended different styles of filming and technology that is continually being development.

Disney plans on fast tracking The Lion King but no release date has been announced.


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