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The Lion King: The Official Movie Special

The Lion King: The Official Movie Special

The Lion King: The Official Movie Special

"A behind-the-scenes companion hardcover magazine for Disney’s retelling of The Lion King. This Movie Special goes behind the scenes with pioneering director Jon Favreau and his creative team to uncover the techniques of this new production. Featuring in-depth interviews with voice cast stars Donald Glover (Simba), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Scar), Seth Rogan (Pumbaa), and Billy Eichner (Timon), along with stunning concept artwork. In the 2019 The Lion King movie, the Circle of Life continues…"

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United Kingdom
Titan Publishing Group
1 Issues

in this issue

2 min
jon favreau on sarabi alfre woodard

We have Alfre Woodard playing Sarabi, which is one of the roles where we found there was room to add more, and help balance the cast. The original film was definitely weighted more toward the male roles; and certainly in the culture of a lion’s pride, the female lions play a very important role. Also, there were, we felt, holes in the plot that we could smooth out involving Sarabi’s character, even reconstituting versions of scenes that had existed and were cut from the ’94 production, but also the original script and outtakes, as well as scenes that were included in the stage musical that weren’t in the film. “Having such a wonderful actor as Alfre Woodard – who brought gravitas to the role and the feeling of her being the…

11 min
rob legato visual effects supervisor visual effects

The Lion King – The Official Movie Special: This film has been produced using revolutionary virtual reality techniques; what was the thinking behind bringing more traditional filmmakers like Director of Photography Caleb Deschanel and Production Designer James Chinlund into that VR space? Rob Legato: Instead of only getting people who have experience in these sorts of visual effects, the idea was to get somebody who has 40 years’ experience making great images on-screen naturally, and then build a tool that wasn’t daunting for them, so they could walk in, grab a camera, and say, “We’ll move the light over here; put the camera down low.” All of a sudden, it’s like they’re comfortable doing what they’ve done for 40 years, except they don’t have to rush to get in a van and get…

10 min
donald glover simba

The Lion King – The Official Movie Special: How does it feel to be part of this new version of The Lion King? Donald Glover: It’s very special. I have a son who loves animals, and the lion is his favorite, so it will be cool that in two years he’ll be old enough to understand. He’s really going to love this. I actually feel a great amount of responsibility. I didn’t feel the joy of it immediately, I felt all the responsibility, because I know how much it meant to me, and now it will be out there forever. What did you think when you first heard about the project? When I first heard Jon Favreau was doing it, I was very excited, because I really liked The Jungle Book adaptation he…

1 min
the lion king

THE CIRCLE OF LIFE When the classic The Lion King was released in 1994, it became a worldwide phenomenon, spawning into a groundbreaking stage musical, and now a whole new realization that combines techniques and vernaculars of animation, cinema, and human performance. Its characters and songs have captivated generations. Now, pioneering director Jon Favreau has reimagined The Lion King for a modern-day audience. A revolutionary blend of virtual reality and new, ultrafast rendering technologies, The Lion King builds on the legacy of the original movie by bringing the adventures of its cast of iconic characters to stunning, vivid new life. In retelling the story of Simba, Nala, Mufasa, Scar, Timon, and Pumbaa, Favreau and his collaborators have reinvented the medium, crafting a film that points the way to the future for moviemaking…

7 min
john oliver zazu

The Lion King – The Official Movie Special: How familiar were you with the original The Lion King? John Oliver: I was very familiar with it. I saw it when it came out, and then saw it again multiple times. Also, as a British person, we were all very excited that Elton John was doing songs for movies: “Our Elton, he’s singing songs for Hollywood. See? We’re still relevant!” That was basically the British take on it. “And look, Rowan [Atkinson] is in it as well! And Jeremy Irons! They still need us! Although usually as villains.” What was it about the original film that you connected with? It’s a really fun story. The songs were amazing; the animation was great; it felt like everything you’d want from a Disney movie. On top…

2 min
jon favreau on mufasa james earl jones

Casting starts with being nervous! Especially in the case of this movie. What do you do? A lot of the original cast are still around; what messages are you sending with each announcement? “What we wanted to do was honor the past, but also look forward and do something fresh. That’s why the first two announcements that we made – I wanted to make sure they were at the same time – were James Earl Jones coming back as Mufasa, and then Donald Glover playing Simba. “I think the audiences who were paying attention – the people out there who are tapped into social media, who had an ear to the ground on this production – overwhelmingly supported what we were doing. With a new production, you want somebody to bring their…