The "Circle of Life" scene from Disney's upcoming live-action version of The Lion King was shown at CinemaCon. Viewers called the footage "stunning" and incredibly realistic. The movie isn't entirely live-action, and is seen as more of a reimagining than anything else. With that being said, the footage in question reportedly contained about 90% of the original dialogue, which may be a bit of a bummer for fans who were disappointed in the first teaser, which pretty much took a scene from the original and reshot it, shot-for-shot.
While there are a few complaints about taking too much from the original, the general consensus about The Lion King footage is that it was visually breathtaking. Mufasa is shown bonding with young Simba, where he teaches his son that "everything the light touches is our kingdom." The return of James Earl Jones is an important one and CinemaCon attendees were very happy about hearing his voice over the speakers. Elsewhere, John Oliver's Zazu was introduced for the first time to the enthusiastic audience.
While Tim Burton's live-action take on Dumbo isn't doing as well as many had hoped at the box office, The Lion King is expected to be a pretty big success. The movie is the last of Disney's live-action remakes to hit theaters this year and it could be one of the year's biggest movies when all is said and done. However, there are still some who are complaining about the movie being a carbon copy of the animated original. While that isn't necessarily a bad thing, the original writers and animators who came up with some of those iconic scenes are not being credited and compensated for their work, which is an obvious sticking point for a lot of people. It has yet to be confirmed if Disney will provide credit when Aladdin and The Lion King premiere.
Dumbo is currently in theaters and Aladdin is next up, hitting theaters at the end of May. In addition to The Lion King footage, Disney also screened some extended scenes from Aladdin at CinemaCon, which wasn't as well-received as The Lion King, so it will be interesting to see how it performs at the box office next month. With the Fox acquisition complete, Disney is about to be in direct competition with itself at the box office and that could have a negative effect on the live-action remakes that are on the way.
The Lion King reimagining stars Donald Glover, James Earl Jones, Beyonce Knowles-Carter, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Billy Eichner, Seth Rogen, John Oliver, John Kani, Alfre Woodard, Florence Kasumba, Eric Andre, and Keegan-Michael Key. That's an incredibly talented cast that Disney has brought together for the movie and many Disney fans will go see it for the cast alone. While the CinemaCon footage won't be released online, we should be getting another look at the movie soon since it opens this summer. Disney still has a very big year ahead of it with a ton of projects waiting to hit theaters.