The Lion King. (Walt Disney Pictures)

‘The Lion King’ cast talks reimagining the Disney classic

Composer Lebo M. said the remake will feature tunes from the original

Disney’s “The Lion King” has received no shortage of remakes and spinoffs in the years since its original 1994 release. Now, as the film reaches its silver anniversary, Disney delivers a new take on the animated musical.

Cast and crew gathered in Hollywood for “The Lion King” world premiere Tuesday night, and discussed reimagining the classic.

“I think I’m really lucky, because I feel like a lot of the people who are experiencing it don’t remember the first one,” joked Donald Glover, who voices adult Simba.

“(The original film) is such a big part of who I was,” Glover continued, adding he felt the weight of his role especially during his duet of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” with co-star Beyoncé.

“Tackling it was really just trying to make the song feel as emotional as it was before,” he said.

While the remake pays homage to the source material, a new approach allowed for more creative liberties than its predecessor, many cast and crew noted.

Hans Zimmer, who composed the original film’s underscore, said he was excited to produce new compositions as well as revamp original music cues.

“This time, I could breathe,” he said, explaining that some of his music was performed too fast the first time around. “I could let them play properly. I could do things with them that I never did before.”

Composer Lebo M. said the remake will feature tunes from the original, and a host of new songs, as well as the anthem “He Lives in You,” which debuted in the stage production.

“We wrote it originally for the movie 25 years ago, and it made its mark on Broadway and around the world, and it’s now a very special version in this movie soundtrack,” he said. “The music department, we went crazy.”

At times, so did the cast.

Actor Billy Eichner, who voices Timon, said director Jon Favreau (who also helmed Disney’s recent “The Jungle Book”) allowed him to record his voiceovers alongside his co-star Seth Rogen, the voice of Pumbaa. Most voice actors do the job solo.

“I think it all comes back to Jon Favreau for being brilliant and knowing how to do a big spectacular film that people can also relate to and make it feel organic and genuinely funny,” Eichner said. “Even when Donald Glover came in to do ‘Hakuna Matata’ in our scenes together, we were all riffing. We kept it very organic and very raw, and I think the movie hopefully benefits from that.”

Glover shared a similar sentiment about Favreau, saying the director’s vision for the remake is the reason he signed on.

“The story of us all being connected is a universal truth that we really can’t ignore anymore,” he said. “If we don’t really like see the value of our lives together what’s the point of all this? Because we’re all connected.”

The vibrant red carpet hosted stars including former Destiny’s Child singers Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland, Tiffany Haddish, Jamie Foxx, Chrissy Metz, Tracy Morgan, Yara Shahidi, Chloe x Halle, and Zooey Deschanel (whose father, Caleb Deschanel, is the cinematographer). Inside, Favreau introduced the cast, who were met with a standing ovation before the film started. He also singled out filmmakers of the animated original that were in the audience for special thanks.

ALSO READ: Eat Smart kale salad bags recalled due to possible listeria contamination

ALSO READ: Old footage of rocking Surrey house party goes viral 30 years later

____

AP Entertainment writer Mike Cidoni Lennox contributed to this story.

Katie Campione, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

’We’ve been dealing with racism all our lives,’ says family of Tla-o-qui-aht woman fatally shot by police

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

What recycling goes where in the ACRD? There’s going to be an app for that

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District hopes residents will use app once it’s developed

Vancouver Island’s current COVID-19 case count officially hits zero

Of the 130 recorded Island Health cases, five people have died, 125 recovered

Alberni Valley, West Coast First Nations gather to remember woman fatally shot by police

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council requests an independent investigation

Kitchen fire sends one to hospital in Port Alberni

Apartment block evacuated after sprinkler system was set off

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read