‘The Lion King’: How Much Will The Live-Action Movie Cost to Make?

It’s time to return to Pride Rock, and after 25 years, Simba’s home has never looked more spectacular. The animated version of The Lion King debuted in 1994 and put a ton of magic into our lives and childhoods. Now, the father/son story about love, loss, and friendship is about to get a stunning live-action retelling. The 21st-century version of The Lion King is set to debut on July 19, 2019, and it’s going to be glorious.

This time, director Jon Favreau is set to bring the beloved tale to life with Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé as Nala, James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Billy Eichner as Timon, and Seth Rogen as Pumbaa. Though we were nervous about the film at first, knowing that Favreau was the genius behind 2016’s live-action The Jungle Book and seeing the gorgeous trailer quieted many of our concerns. Still, looking at the immense scope of the film and its all-star cast, how much did the live-action Lion King cost to make?

A $250 million extravaganza

Though the budget for the live-action The Lion King hasn’t officially been confirmed, Marvel Studios boss, Kevin Feige let it slip that the movie would have a $250 million budget and it looks like every penny was well spent. Not only did Disney have to get the animation and music just right, but they also had to be able to afford Beyoncé, which we’re sure was a costly penny.

The original animated classic only cost Disney $45 million, and it made almost $1 billion back in the box office across the globe. The Lion King’s budget also gives Favreau a bit more to play with then he had for The Jungle Book which was budgeted at $177 million.

Disney’s most expensive film of 2019

Despite its massive budget, The Lion King will not be Disney’s most expensive film of the year. That honor goes to Avengers: Endgame which will debut April 26, 2019. The final installment in the Avengers saga cost Disney $350 million to get to the big screen. It is set to be Disney’s most expensive film of all time. Before this, the studios’ most expensive live-action film was Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End which had a $300 million budget.

Meanwhile, their most costly animated feature was Tangled which cost the studio, $260 million. This year, Disney’s most costly animated features are Frozen 2 which will premiere November 22, 2019, and Toy Story 4 which will debut, June 21, 2019. The films both have budgets of $200 million –which isn’t quite as costly as The Lion King but about almost as budget busting.

Disney has a ton of films coming down the pipeline this year, but we’d have to say we’re most excited the little lion who just can’t wait to be king.

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