Who's ready to revisit the Pride Lands?
Just in time for Thanksgiving weekend, Disney released the first trailer for the highly-anticipated live-action remake of The Lion King, and, boy, is it stunning. The trailer reintroduces us to the iconic scene in which Rafiki presents a baby Simba, the future king, on Pride Rock. Meanwhile, the great James Earl Jones, who reprises his role as the mighty king Mufasa (ooooo!), narrates the trailer with familiar lines fans of the original animated classic will instantly recognize: "One day, the sun will set on my time here, and will rise with you as the new king." *Shivers.*
The clip is beautiful and captivating — and also seems to match the 1994 The Lion King trailer shot-for-shot. Behold:
The film is directed by Jon Favreau, who also helmed Disney's live-action Jungle Book remake, and stars Donald Glover (Simba), Beyoncé Knowles-Carter (!) (Nala), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Scar), John Oliver (Zazu), Seth Rogen (Pumbaa), and Billy Eichner (Timon), among others.
Before we get to the trailer, I'd like to point out a few thoughts I had as I watched it. Ready? Let's do this. (Or skip to the end of the article to go straight to the trailer.)
1. After all these years, hearing the intro to "Circle of Life" still makes me want to climb the highest peak on a hot summer day, and scream out incoherent words at the top of my lungs with my hands outstretched. I want to be a kid again.
2. James Earl Jones literally needs to narrate the story of my life. That voice. And, oh god, I don't think I can handle rewatching him fall to his death at the hands of his brother. Speaking of Scar, I really do feel like Jeremy Irons needed to be in this film.
3. Baby Simba is pretty darn cute. But also, seeing the CGI lion reminded me that there are no humans in this film. I know this version will take queues from the live-action Jungle Book (also no humans), but how does this count as live-action? Googling now because I don't think I truly understand what live-action really means.
4. Rafiki looks technically impressive, and makes me excited to see what Timon, Pumbaa, and the hyenas will look like.
5. I know this trailer's aim is to hook fans of the 1994 film by recreating the original trailer, but I hope this remake brings something new to the table. Otherwise, what's the point?
OK, enough of me rambling. Check out the trailer below, and let us know how much you're feeling it.
The Lion King hits theaters July 19, 2019.