Why Many Fans Feel ‘The Lion King’ Remake Won’t Work

The new Lion King movie premieres July 19, 2019, and fans are concerned it’s destined for failure.

The live-action remake of The Lion King – though less a live-action retelling and moreso a CGI makeover – is pegged to be one of the Summer’s biggest blockbusters. First released in 1994, Disney’s The Lion King was an animated splendor featuring catchy musical numbers, a few heartwrenching moments, and a touching coming of age story.

The Lion King
‘The Lion King’ | Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/WireImage

The original version of The Lion King starred James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Jeremy Irons as Scar, Nathan Lane as Timon, Matthew Broderick as Simba, Moira Kelly as Nala, Whoopi Goldberg as Shenzi, and a couple more A-list names you’re bound to recognize. While the new cast will definitely have some large shoes to fill, the cast is not the major issue (aside from concerns regarding one character in particular).

‘The Lion King’ 2019 cast: All but one are destined for greatness

With James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa, Beyonce Knowles coming on to voice Nala, and Donald Glover voicing Simba, the live-action version of The Lion King boasts a pretty impressive ensemble when it comes to vocal talent. It was very wise of the casting directors to request James Earl Jones once more, as no one could replace his deep and distinguished iconic sound.

As for the famous comedic duo, Seth Rogen will take on Pumbaa and Billy Eichner will voice Timon. These two comedy pros should have no issue delivering on the energy that Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella conveyed in the original. However, there’s one casting decision that has many fans concerned.

Chiwetel Ejiofor will be voicing Scar, and, after watching the initial trailer, many fans feel that the character has lost his condescending and pompous nature in favor of a more “pure evil” and dark vibe. While this depiction of a villainous character may better align with trends in modern cinema, this is not the Scar fans know and love. Thus, #notmyscar posts have been popping up all over Twitter.

Scar was a bit regal; he walked with an air of self-righteousness and spoke with a tone of superiority. Once you strip that away – as the trailer seems to have done – Scar ceases to be. And this is not the only major issue fans have with Scar, as CGI seems to have stripped the character of his ability to convey the full spectrum of emotions.

Why fans feel CGI will ruin ‘The Lion King’ remake

While most of the comments across social media outlets focus on Scar, and the great loss that comes with his new CGI-self, fans have agreed that CGI will make the whole movie darker. The coyotes seem a bit less ditsy and a lot more menacing.

Not to mention, animation allows for exaggerated facial expressions and unrealistic/impossible eye movements that play into the light-hearted nature associated with the original production. Remember: The Lion King, first and foremost, should be a family-centric movie, and the new trailer seemed a bit scary for children under ten.

As CGI stips away particular abilities that old-school animation retains, most of the characterization work will fall on the actors (and their vocal dexterity). Which, given the cast, should not be a problem, but nothing is guaranteed.

While Jon Favreau excelled when it came to remaking The Jungle Book, The Lion King is – in most circles – considered more iconic, and the movie brings a fanbase with very high expectations. As a result, the CGI and the loss of Scar’s original disposition might become this movie’s downfall.