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Jon Favreau to Direct ‘Lion King’ Live-Action Remake

Having become king of the jungle, Jon Favreau is heading to the African Savannah.

Disney has tapped the filmmaker to oversee its upcoming live-action remake of “The Lion King.” Favreau already had success modernizing “The Jungle Book” for the studio. He’s also the director of “Iron Man” and “Iron Man 2.” Disney has been busy delving into its vaults, and modernizing classic animated fare like “Beauty and the Beast” and “Cinderella” with flesh and blood actors, and, in the case of “The Jungle Book,” pixilated critters. Barring tremendous advances in lion taming, presumably real animals won’t be used in this one either. They’ll be of the digital variety.

The Lion King” has already been turned into a Tony-winning Broadway musical, that continues to draw crowds. The 1994 version was one of the studio’s most successful films, earning $968.8 million globally. The story centers on a young lion whose father and the king of his pride, is killed by his villainous uncle, who than usurps his throne. Disney will presumably keep the catchy music from the original film, with Tim Rice and Elton John songs such as “Hakuna Matata” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” making an appearance.

Disney and Favreau are also developing a sequel to “The Jungle Book.” No release date has been set for either “The Lion King” or “The Jungle Book 2.”

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