Disney reveals plans for live action remake of The Lion King

Animated classic The Lion King is to be remade as a live action film, Disney has announced.

Directed by Jon Favreau, the new film will bring the tale of young lion Simba back to the big screen more than 20 years after its release in 1994.

It follows the success of Disney's "technologically groundbreaking smash-hit" remake of The Jungle Book, also directed by Favreau, which debuted in April and has made £742.7 million worldwide.

The director tweeted to say he was "excited for my next project", posting emojis of a lion and a crown.

Disney released a statement to announce the plans, saying: "We can officially confirm that The Walt Disney Studios and director Jon Favreau are putting a new reimagining of The Lion King on the fast-track to production.

"The Lion King builds on Disney's success of reimagining its classics for a contemporary audience with films like Maleficent, Cinderella and The Jungle Book."

Disney is also remaking Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson as Belle, with the film due out in 2017.

The original Lion King is one of the biggest animated films of all time, with a lifetime global box office gross of £745 million.

The new movie will include songs from the original, which were written by Elton John, Tim Rice and Hans Zimmer.

It won Academy Awards for original song for Can You Feel The Love Tonight (composed by Sir Elton John, with lyrics by Tim Rice) and original score (Hans Zimmer), plus two Grammy Awards.

It has also been adapted for the stage all around the world.

Disney has not said when production will start or when the new film will be released, and casting is to be announced.

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