Consider these numbers $1 billion, $750 million, and $500 million. That’s how much money Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent, and Cinderella made respectively at the worldwide box office. The lesson here for the Walt Disney Company is that there’s big money in live-action modern remakes of their classic animated films. The point was proven again earlier this year when The Jungle Book sat comfortably in the Top 5 box office rankings for weeks, along the way racking up $965 million in receipts. That was impressive work, especially for the man behind the film, Iron Man director Jon Favreau, and he’s going to stay in the Disney remake business with his next film. Hint: it’s the Circle of Life.
Jon Favreau sent out the following tweet this morning, and the Emoji communique is fairly straightforward in its intentions. He’s directing The Lion King.
Excited for my next project 🦁👑
— Jon Favreau (@Jon_Favreau) September 28, 2016
It’s a shrewd move for Disney to keep Favreau in house considering the bank his Jungle Book made, the technology for which will surely be used to bring the African plains of The Lion King to life on the big screen. Favreau is also supposedly in development on a sequel to Jungle Book, but there’s no word yet on when either of those movies might be released, or in what order they might be released in. Disney’s next remake is Beauty and the Beast, which will be in theaters everywhere in early 2017.
The Lion King is one of Disney’s most valuable properties; it made nearly a billion dollars at the worldwide box office in its lifetime, won two Academy Awards for Best Song and Best Score, won two Grammys, sold 14 million copies of the soundtrack, and launched 23 global stage productions that were seen by 850 million people. So can Favreau recapture that Magic Kingdom magic and make more green for Disney? I guess we’ll find out.