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The 2016 "live action" remake of The Jungle Book did so well critically and commercially that Disney then tasked director Jon Favreau with helming another remake featuring more realistic-looking, talking animals. It's been a while since we had any major updates regarding the new adaptation of The Lion King, but with eight months to go until its release, Disney has finally released the first trailer for the highly-anticipated movie, which you can watch below.
There are a lot of memorable moments from the original Lion King, which came out in 1994, but arguably the most well-known of them all is the beginning of the movie, when animals from across the Pride Lands travel to see King Mufasa and Queen Sarabi's newborn son, Simba. This trailer assures fans that we're getting a direct recreation of that opening, including Rafiki anointing Simba and holding him high above for the subjects to see.
As the trailer unfolds, we're also treated to hearing Mufasa telling Simba what it means to be the king of the Pride Lands, which will come in handy when Simba grows to adulthood. Presumably Simba is the one roaring at the end of the preview rather than Musfasa, but in any case, that caps off our first look at this Lion King remake. This teaser trailer definitely tapped into big-time nostalgia to make a first impression with audiences.
The Lion King clearly is following in The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast's footsteps by being a relatively straightforward remake rather than taking a lot of creative liberties, like Maleficent and Dumbo. The cast includes Donald Glover as Simba, Beyonce as Nala, James Earl Jones reprising Mufasa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, John Oliver as Zazu, Billy Eichner as Timon, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, John Kani as Rafiki and Alfre Woodard as Sarabi. Scar will also still be served by three hyenas, and while Florence Kasumba is playing Shenzi, the other two have been renamed Aziz and Kamari, played by Eric Andre and Keegan-Michael Key, respectively.
Behind-the-scenes, The Lion King remake also has some familiar faces contributing. Hans Zimmer is returning to score the film, and Elton John is back to rework some of the songs he came up with for the original Lion King. In addition to her voice acting duties, Beyonce will also be helping John out on the soundtrack, and she, John and Tim Rice have created a new song for the end credits. But for those of you who prefer the original Lion King's tunes, so far four songs from that animated classic are confirmed to be in the remake: "Circle of Life" (as we heard in the trailer), "I Just Can't Wait to Be King," "Hakuna Matata," and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight."
The Lion King opens in theaters on July 19, 2019, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for continuing coverage. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release schedule to find out what else is coming out next year.