VFX wiz Robert Legato hints Lion King remake will come before Jungle Book 2
Disney has been making it their mission in recent years to take as many of their animated classics as possible and turn them into live-action features. Though their recent efforts like JUNGLE BOOK have won critical acclaim and huge box office numbers, some have worried the studio is going too far. Said worry reached a new level when it was announced that Disney and director Jon Favreau would be aiming their sights on THE LION KING for the remake treatment. No matter your stance on the project, though, the movie is happening and will probably be hitting theaters sooner rather than later.
Cinema Blend was able to talk to Oscar-winning visual effects guru Robert Legato (HUGO, TITANIC), who worked with Favreau on BOOK, asking if he will be working on LION KING and if thinks the remake will come before the announced sequel to JUNGLE BOOK:
Yeah, actually, I am. ... It's the very next one [we're doing]. We've already started the plans, and all of the various things, and the updates to the various ways that we filmed The Jungle Book, to add to and extend the art form a little bit more in Lion King, which is going to be another live-action-looking movie.
Though the remake of KING will not be animated, it’s also hard to consider it a live-action film as it will have zero humans in it. As a result the movie will be practically all CGI, but to Legato the Mowgli-less scenes in BOOK already proved that won’t be an issue when it comes to making KING work:
With Lion King, the only way I think we could make this movie is to have made Jungle Book before and say, 'Yes. Take [Mowgli] out of it, look at those scenes. Yes, I believe those scenes are good. I believe we can make a movie that way.'
I happen to agree with Legato on that last bit, as some of the best scenes in BOOK involved only the animals, like when Akela (Giancarlo Esposito) and Shere Khan (Idris Elba) have their little back-and-forth that resulted in a big dramatic moment. As for the remake of KING I don’t think we will see it until around 2019 given the amount of work that will have to go into it, which means anyone who was a fan of BOOK will most likely have to wait for the sequel until the 2020’s. Who knows if the world will even be around then!
Disney’s next live-action feature, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, will arrive March 17.