UPDATE: Disney has reached out to inform us that this is 100% fake news. They claim this is just some 'random guy with a fake lion'. They go onto confirm that there will be no practical effects or puppets used in bringing Mufasa to life. All of the characters will be created in the computer via CGI and motion capture.
Original story: Jon Favreau's live-action remake of The Lion King is currently in production and our first look at Mufasa reveals that we truly are getting a mix of CGI and live-action. The project was first announced by Disney back in 2016 and it's been a lengthy process, which is a good thing. Favreau and crew are definitely taking the time that they need to bring one of Disney's most beloved animated films to the big screen with live-action, and by the looks of our first images of Mufasa, it's going to be well worth the wait.
When Disney's The Lion King remake was announced, it was followed by skepticism from fans of the original. However, it should be noted that every one of Disney's live-action remakes has been criticized before its release. At the time of the original announcement, it was revealed that the movie would be a mix of CGI and live-action elements, which is clearly the case in our first look at Mufasa. The character is an incredibly detailed animatronic lion that looks realistic.
It looks like Disney is using animatronics mixed with CGI, which is a common practice that has been getting better and better over time. The effect has been put to great use over the years from 1993's Jurassic Park to 2017's The Last Jedi. While Mufasa looks like a real lion, he also has the look of a Disney character in that he has features that almost make his face look human. Just picturing James Earl Jones' voice returning to the iconic character with this new look will be enough to get Disney enthusiasts incredibly hyped for film, which is set to arrive in theaters on July 19th, 2019.
In February of 2017, Donald Glover was cast as Simba, with James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa from the original version of The Lion King. In April, Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen were cast to play Timon and Pumbaa respectively, and later that summer, John Oliver was cast as Zazu, while Alfre Woodard and John Kani were announced to play Sarabi and Rafiki. It was confirmed in November that Beyoncé had signed on to play Nala. The Lion King live-action remake will also feature Chiwetel Ejiofor as the villainous Scar.
Now that we have our first look at Mufasa from Disney's The Lion King live-action remake, hopefully some footage will be shown soon. However, it seems that it will still be quite a while before we see any kind of teaser since the film doesn't hit theaters for another year. That being said, it would be really cool to get some more of these behind-the-scenes pictures because it offers a unique look at the recreation of such beloved Disney characters in a new world that won't just be normal CGI. You can check out the first ever pictures of Mufasa from The Lion King live-action remake below, thanks to the Disney Film Facts Twitter account.