Disney dropped the first trailer for its highly anticipated live-action remake of “The Lion King” on Wednesday — 100 days out from its July 19 release. Come for the super realistic CGI rendering of the animals, stay for Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” as Timon and Pumbaa.
Featuring sumptuous, dazzling images of the African savannah landscape that could easily double as a nature documentary, the two-minute clip kicks off with Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor) giving some life lessons to his young nephew Simba (JD McCrary).
“Life’s not fair, is it, my little friend?” Scar asks. “While some are born to feast, others spend their lives in the dark, begging for scraps.”
Intense, Uncle Scar. Simba’s pops Mufasa, voiced by James Earl Jones once again, has some better pearls of wisdom to impart, of course. “Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. While others search for what you can take, a true king searches for what he can give,” he tells his son. “You must take your place in the circle of life.”
Well, we all know what happens to Mufasa after that. This is “‘Hamlet’ with Animals.'”
Elsewhere in the trailer, we get a brief glimpse of Nala (Beyonce Knowles-Carter, as she’s credited) and a shot-for-shot recreation from the 1994 animated hit of the montage of Simba growing up (Donald Glover voices adult Simba) as he walks along with Timon and Pumbaa.
Let’s hope the whole thing isn’t a shot-for-shot remake.
Directed by Jon Favreau, the film also stars Alfre Woodard, John Oliver, Keegan-Michael Key and Amy Sedaris.
The original “Lion King” won two Oscars, Best Original Score for Hans Zimmer and Best Original Song for Elton John‘s “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” (it had two more song bids for “Circle of Life” and “Hakuna Matata”), but this remake could definitely crack some of the tech categories with this striking imagery and production value.