‘The Lion King’: Is the Live-Action Film Disney’s Most Expensive Movie?

25 years after the original film hit theaters, The Lion King is set to return to the big screen in a way that audiences have never seen before. Helmed by director Jon Favreau who brought The Jungle Book to life, the live-action Lion King follows Simba’s journey from the loss of his father, Mufasa, to his redemption as he takes his place as the King of Pride Rock. Though we all know the animated film, 2019’s The Lion King will be hyper-realistic, using the same photorealism and computer-animation that Favreau used with The Jungle Book.

The film is set to debut July 19, 2019, and it boasts an A-list cast including, Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé as Nala, and James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa. Composer Hans Zimmer has also signed on to score the film — he scored the original movie back in 1994. From the looks of the teaser trailer, The Lion King will be one of the most expensive movies Disney has ever made but is it the most expensive?

The Lion King 2019
The Lion King 2019 | Disney

The cost of The Lion King (2019)

The original Lion King was a massive feat. The beloved animated film cost Disney $45 million to make but it more than made up its budget, racking in an astronomical $968.5 million at the box office. Though the film was animated and it was marketed towards children, the stunning soundtrack and story drew in millions of people of all ages across the globe.

The story follows Simba (Donald Glover), a young lion who is reeling from the death of his father. He is runoff from his home and his land by his cruel and manipulative uncle Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Taken in by two outcast Timon (Billy Eichner) and Pumbaa (Seth Rogen), Simba is eventually convinced by his childhood friend, Nala and his father’s old advisor, Rafiki (John Kani) to return home. Though we don’t know the exact budget of 2019’s The Lion King, we assume it’s going to be comparable to 2016’s live-action The Jungle Book which cost Disney $177 million to make.

The rest of the cast includes John Oliver as Zasu, Keegan-Michael Key as the hyena Kamari and Alfre Woodard as Sarabi, Simba’s mother.


Disney’s most expensive movie

Though Disney has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on The Pirates of the Carribean films, with it’s most expensive, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End with a costly $300 million budget, Disney’s most expensive animated movie — Tangled cost the studio, $260 million. The updated version of Rapunzel was well worth it since the movie brought in an astounding, $591.8 million.

With the classic tale, a beloved cast and the beautiful visuals, we’d expect The Lion King to do some massive numbers as well. Disney has already premiered the teaser trailer, which opened with all the animals in Pride Rock. As we move towards Pride Rock, Mufasa is heard saying, “Everything the light touches, is our kingdom.”

Honestly, we were super nervous when Disney said they would be reprising The Lion King but from the looks the teaser trailer, it’s going to be epic.

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