Jon Favreau's live-action remake of The Lion King has the power to make Seth Rogen weep. The actor/writer stars in the movie as fan-favorite character Pumbaa the warthog and he is a big fan of the original animated classic. Excitement for the remake has been slowly growing over the last few months, mainly because the cast Disney pulled together for the movie is pretty astounding. In addition to Rogen, the movie also stars Donald Glover, Beyoncé, James Earl Jones, Billy Eichner, John Oliver, and many more.
The Lion King, along with Aladdin are considered to be two of the biggest Disney movies ever released for fans of a certain age, which makes the decision to remake them in a semi-live-action setting a bit controversial. There is immense pressure on both projects to deliver in the way that their live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast succeeded. With that being said, Seth Rogen believes they are on the right track. He had this to say.
"I once heard it referred to as the crown jewel of the Disney movies, and for me at least, it's for sure the one that hit me the hardest, that taught me the most lessons about life and death and many things in between. Whenever Jon (Favreau) has shown me (footage), I weep uncontrollably because it does just hit a raw nerve in some ways and taps directly into these feelings from my childhood, but updates them with a scope that is heavily impactful to me as an adult."
The Lion King is a nostalgic touchstone for many and a lot of people can vividly remember the first time they ever saw the movie and how it made them feel. There are lessons to be learned and they obviously still resonate with 37-year old Seth Rogen as much as they did when he was a child, which is more than likely the same thing for a lot of people around the same age. But again, that just adds to the pressure.
Both the Aladdin and Lion King remakes have been criticized since they were announced and after the first footage was shown off. For some, Will Smith's Genie is too frightening, which is a valid argument, but fans are looking at the iconic source material to compare, which isn't really fair. As for The Lion King, the movie isn't even in theaters and is already being called out for being a shot-for-shot remake of the original, but with some live-action elements. Jon Favreau promises there is a lot more to offer here than a carbon copy of the animated classic.
The Lion King has an uphill battle ahead of itself, but Seth Rogen seems confident the movie will be satisfying for old and new fans when it hits theaters this summer. While the movie is certainly not live-action, it was shot in a way that marries CGI and traditional filmmaking together, which was the goal from the beginning, states Jon Favreau. It certainly does look pretty good. You can read the rest of the interview with Seth Rogen over at Entertainment Weekly.