Jon Favreau has once again taken up the mammoth task of recreating our childhood memories and this time he is doing it with The Lion King. Favreau is not new to this arena. The director had earlier created the live-action version of The Jungle Book in 2016 but it looks like remaking The Lion King will be a tougher task. Here’s why:
How many recreations are we going to watch?
The live-action version of The Jungle Book released in 2016 and while that was only 3 years ago, a lot has changed since then. The Jungle Book was one of the early films that Disney decided to reboot but since then, we have already seen Beauty and the Beast, Christopher Robin, Dumbo and Aladdin.
Not just this, the increasing trend of bringing back franchises (Men in Black) that were once popular has started to take a toll on the audience as the lack of originality in movies is starkly visible now. Nostalgia is starting to lose its novelty now and this gives The Lion King an uphill battle. Disney has also announced The Little Mermaid, Mulan and a few other films and those will probably face the same problem.
Can photorealistic lions compete with an actual human?
In a recent interview, Jon Favreau mentioned that The Lion King is in fact not a live-action movie but a photorealistic one. The Jungle Book, on the other hand, was a live-action film with a human boy at its centre. There was a certain fascination to watch a real-life human boy interact with animals and this was the USP of The Jungle Book. Mowgli was the one who tied the story together and his acting chops added a great deal to the movie.
In The Lion King, however, this advantage is lost. We know that lions can’t emote so we lose the emotional pull that the animated version could play with.
Who wins the nostalgia battle?
There is no doubt that both The Jungle Book and The Lion King are classics. While The Jungle Book has entertained kids since the 1960s, The Lion King has been with us since the early 1990s. For 90s kids, The Lion King formed an important part of their childhood as they saw the film as it released vs The Jungle Book that was passed down from one generation to another.
The emotional connect with The Lion King is higher which makes the stakes even higher. A big part of the movie-going audience now is the one that saw The Lion King back in the 90s and they are going to be much tougher as an audience as the original is quite sacred to them.