4 items from 2016
Though reaction to the announcement of a live-action remake of Disney’s The Lion King has been somewhat mixed, the studio is forging ahead with the project. Having set Jon Favreau to direct the film, screenwriter Jeff Nathanson (Tower Heist, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) has now been hired to tackle the adaptation.
Disney are clearly seeking to capitalise on the rapturous reception The Jungle Book received earlier this year. Filmmaker Jon Favreau took the classic Disney film and reinvigorated it by returning to certain elements of the source material – being Rudyard Kipling’s book. He then delivered a CGI-live action hybrid movie that succeeded on every level. With The Lion King, however, there is no specific source material to incorporate, beyond the original film, unless writer Jeff Nathanson brings additional elements of Shakespeare’s Hamlet into the story – of which the 1994 film featured narrative aspects. »
- Sarah Myles
It’s appropriate that Jeffrey Katzenberg is now celebrating his Imprint Ceremony at the Chinese Theatre. After all, his fingerprints are all over Hollywood.
Over the years Katzenberg has discovered, mentored and nurtured talent, and his long-standing relationships with such actors as Julia Roberts, Eddie Murphy, Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Mike Myers, Richard Gere, Angelina Jolie, and Justin Timberlake have been a key their success as well as his own.
Katzenberg personally casts all his movies. He put Murphy in the “Beverly Hills Cop” and “Shrek” franchises and helped glamorous stars such as Jolie and Cameron Diaz broaden their fanbase by moving into animated films, “Kung Fu Panda” and “Shrek,” respectively.
He raised the trajectories of such comedians as Myers (“Shrek”) Jack Black (“Kung Fu Panda”), and Ben Stiller (“Madagascar”). He helped pair Roberts and Gere in “Pretty Woman,” guided Cruise through such hits as “Color of Money” and “Minority Report, »
- Iain Blair
Disney and Jon Favreau’s “The Jungle Book” turned a lot of heads earlier this year with its groundbreaking use of special effects and its worldwide box office gross of just over $960 million. Sequel buzz was inevitable with that kind of blockbuster success, but now we have confirmed that the studio and filmmaker have something even more ambitious up their sleeves: A live-action “The Lion King.” The Walt Disney Company confirmed this morning that one of their most beloved animated movies will officially be getting the live-action treatment, with Favreau attached to direct.
Disney’s animated “The Lion King,” directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff and released in 1994, was the highest grossing animated film for 16 years until it was surpassed by “Toy Story 3” in 2010. Since then, numerous CGI animated films have »
- Zack Sharf
Roger Allers faced a unique challenge as the director of “Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet.” He had to curate eight separate pieces of animation from nine other directors (twins Paul and Gaetan Brizzi helmed one segment) each interpreting one of Gibran’s classic poems, as well as craft a touching story that bound them all together into a single, cohesive movie.
He was clearly up to the task. “The Prophet” has been nominated for an Annie Award for Best Animated Feature — Independent Award and Allers himself is nominated for his direction. The film is also on the shortlist for an Oscar nomination for animated feature. Allers talked with Variety about the challenges and joys of bringing together so many filmmakers for one film, how he approached Gibran’s beloved work and what he hopes for the future of animation.
- Terry Flores
4 items from 2016
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