Director Jon Favreau has just left a scoring session for ”The Lion King” with Hans Zimmer and an orchestra. It was for the stampede (yes, THAT stampede). And it will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the 1994 animated classic that, with Favreau’s footage playing in the background, it got a little emotional in that room. “Working on it doesn’t make it any less emotional,” Favreau said. And don’t even get him started on what it was like to listen to James Earl Jones record his lines as Mufasa. Favreau and an army of people behind the scenes are putting the finishing touches on what might be this summer’s most anticipated release, one that’s been three years in the making with some of the biggest names in entertainment, including Beyoncé, and the expectations couldn’t be higher.
None of the other major studios are even daring to go up against “The Lion King” when it opens July 19. The animated film, which opened in June 1994 at the peak of the Disney animation renaissance, went on to become a critical hit, the highest grossing film of the year at the worldwide box office (it was second domestically to “Forrest Gump”), a two-time Oscar winner for Zimmer’s score and the song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” and a Broadway show – now the third-longest running and one of the most successful in history. So it was only a matter of time before the Walt Disney Co., in this new era of live-action remakes of its animated library which this year included both “Dumbo” and “Aladdin,” turned to one of its most beloved, the Associated Press (AP) news reported. — ONA