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Can you feel the excitement today? Disney officially announced Wednesday that a live-action version of the animated classic The Lion King is in the works, directed by The Jungle Book’s Jon Favreau.

The beloved 1994 children’s movie starring Simba, Mufasa, and various animal kingdom friends (and enemies) is one of Disney’s most long-lasting and lucrative hits, raking in nearly $969 million over its lifetime, according to Disney’s announcement. (When you add in its wildly successful stage adaptations, The Lion King has grossed more globally than any other film, Broadway show, or entertainment title “in box office history,” the company contends.) This new take on the musical cartoon follows in the footsteps of other entries in Disney’s animated library that have been transformed into live-action masterpieces: the upcoming Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson, last year’s Jungle Book, and previously, the fairy tales of Cinderella and Maleficent, and Pete’s Dragon.

Favreau, who is uniquely prepared for this franchise given his experience with the animal-centric Jungle Book remake, has been behind blockbusters like Iron Man and the ever-popular holiday movie Elf, too. No release date or further details on casting have yet been announced.


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