Disney's been on a tear lately with announcing remakes of their classic animated movies, to the point that many barely blink an eye when a new one is added to the slate. However, the new version of The Lion King revealed earlier this month definitely came as a surprise, as it was not only arguably the biggest success of the Disney Renaissance, but it's also notable for its lack of human characters. Nevertheless, the House of Mouse is eagerly moving forward with the movie, which was just reaffirmed by them finding a writer to tackle the re-telling.
Deadline is reporting that Jeff Nathanson will pen The Lion King's script, joining director Jon Favreau as part of the creative team. This won't be his first foray into the world of Disney, as he also wrote Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which hits theaters next year. His other notable writing credits include Catch Me If You Can, The Terminal, Rush Hour 3 and Tower Heist. He also wrote a draft for the fourth Indiana Jones movie before David Koepp succeeded him, and as we all know, that eventually became 2008's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
It's too soon to tell what kind of approach Jeff Nathanson will take making this version of The Lion King unique from the original, but given his experience writing dramatic, comedic and action-packed tales, it sounds like he's properly suited for the task. As is the case with a project that's just been announced, details are sparse about what to expect from The Lion King re-imagining. All that's certain right now is that it will feature songs from the original animated movie, but it may a while until we learn which actors will comprise the cast.
It's also worth clarifying that this version of The Lion King won't be live action in the technical sense. Much like The Jungle Book earlier this year (which was also directed by Jon Favreau), this movie will use incredible technology to make the animals to look as realistic as possible, but this time, there won't be a human actor anchoring the shoot to reality. That said, if The Jungle Book's box office draw is any indication, that may not stop The Lion King being a huge money-earner. Its animated predecessor certainly did well for itself financially back in 1994, drawing in nearly $970 million worldwide.
The Lion King remake doesn't have a release date yet, but production is reportedly being fast-tracked, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for all the latest updates surrounding the movie. In the meantime, Beauty and the Beast is the next movie up on Disney's slate of remakes, hitting theaters on March 17, 2017.