Published On: Wed, Dec 21st, 2016

Jon Favreau explains ‘Lion King’ live-action adaptation linking to the animated classic

Disney has tapped into incredible success with live-action adaptation of their classic animated films and Lion King will be one of the biggest projects coming up for the studio. Hiring Jungle Book director Jon Favreau seems like and obvious choice and the Iron Man director spoke with Collider about the project and tying in the classic original.

“With Lion King, there you have such a strong original film, and then there was a theater production of it as well in a different medium that was very well received and successful and still continues to play. And you have a lot of people with very deep memories and connections to those properties so you want to make sure that, even though the story is very strong, you want to make sure it translates well to yet another medium and doesn’t feel like it’s duplicating or trying to outdo what was done in another medium.”

Favreau continues telling Collider asking: “How do you include the music and the look and the characters and the story points? And can you do it convincingly so that it feels like you’re actually observing real animals in nature while still preserving the characters and the tone and the personality aspects of the film and what tonal things have to change. Having been through it on Jungle Book was very helpful, but what a tremendous opportunity because people feel so connected to it, but with that comes such a tremendous responsibility because you don’t want to do anything that undermines people’s connection to the original, which is so wonderful.”

Favreau earned high praise with the photorealistic CGI worlds of The Jungle Book, but Lion King may pose bigger challenges.

“The thing is that the animated version of The Lion King is — I don’t know how you outdo that. It works tremendously well. I think it was sort of the end of the era before the 3D animation started coming in, and I don’t think anybody wants to see an animated version because if you want to see an animated version, look at the original. It holds up, it’s still wonderful to watch. So the trick is can you make it look like you actually found real animals in a real environment? And how do you translate the story through that? And in that sense, what we learned on Jungle Book as we got into the photorealism of the environments and the characters, the behavior of the animals, how do you use the lessons you learned there, but adjust it to the tone of what Lion King is?   Because I think that when you hear the opening song, when you see those images, the photography of it, even in 2D it is arresting, and I try to imagine what it could be like using the tools that we have today and could we make audiences feel the same way and retell the same myth using these new tools? So the challenge becomes how do you have it look photoreal? And what has to be adjusted so that it doesn’t feel inconsistent?   In Jungle Book, if we just took everything that was in the ’67 film, that humor would have been too broad for a live-action, and also you have to take into account that these look like real animals, so the intensity of it gets really notched up. So understanding the lessons that we learned from Jungle Book is really helpful as we develop this, but it’s all a discovery process. And fortunately, working with a lot of the same people and it feels like a continuation of that journey.”

Favreau intends to helm The Jungle Book 2 and the new Lion King film, moving from one right into the next, but he’s had plenty of experience with mega-budget blockbusters and he’s quick to admit that burnout could become a factor.

“I think we’re kind of learning a lot about how this all works right now I’m kind of full bore into developing the tools to tell the story for Lion King, because you’re sort of developing whole new sets of tools for each production. And right now in the story phase, getting the story right for Jungle Book 2. I don’t know. Right now the plan is that we go right from one into the other, but I know from having worked on two superhero movies back to back, these take many many many years. I was working on Marvel movies for like four years back-to-back. It’s a big chunk of your life and you have to make sure that you’re excited and can bring all of your attention and concentration to bear on this, because they are really big puzzles. Every film is a puzzle you have to solve — these highly technical ones are like 3D chess. There’s like a whole other level to it that has to be understood and learned.”

Check out the full Collider interview HERE

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter

* indicates required

About the Author

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



The Global Dispatch Facebook page- click here

Movie News Facebook page - click here

Television News Facebook page - click here

Weird News Facebook page - click here