It is one of the most anticipated films of the year – the live-action, star-studded, Beyoncé-staring remake of the breathtaking The Lion King.
Our Hollywood correspondent Dean McCarthy attended the jam packed The Lion King press conference in LA, for an insight on what we can expect from this monumental film event.
The press conference kicked off with a goosebump worthy choral performance of “The Circle of Life” with lead soloists Lebo M and Clydene Jackson. The room then cheered with excitement as the voice actors including Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner and director Jon Favreau took the stage. No Beyoncé, but she later rocked the world premieres’ to perfection.
Here are some fun facts we learned at the press conference.
1. Donald Glovers Kept His Role As The Voice Of Simba A Secret From His Family.
It was only while watching the actual movie that Donald Glover’s son learned that his father was a voice in the film! While he knew of the film (hello, Beyoncé is in it), he exclaimed while watching it “Oh, Dad’s in it too! This is great! A bonus.” Definite cool-dad points in any kid’s mind. Nice one!
2. Billy Eichner (Timon) and Seth Rogen (Pumbaa) Recorded Their Roles Together.
While the pair grace us with the playful and unforgettable “Hakuna Matata,” we found out that the two actually spent their entire recording session as the lovable characters together – ensuring they bounced jokes authentically off each other in real time.
Billy Eicher said “Being able to riff off each other and really discover our chemistry together in the same moment, you can feel it when you’re watching the movie… I was shocked by how much of the riffing actually ended up in the movie.”
Seth Rogan added how well the filmmakers were able to bring Billy’s own personality to the role. “He [Billy] essentially played himself on a TV show for years and this character is somehow more Billy than that character!”
“I wish I was as cute in real life as in that movie,” laughed Billy.
3. The Voice Actors Viewed The World Through A VR Video Game.
Director Jon Favreau had an entire VR “video game” version of the set created, so that the voice actors could immerse themselves into the world.
“It’s like watching your favorite movie, but you’re in it! You’re in the movie!” said Young Simba’s JD McCrary. “You put on the headsets and have these little controller things in your hands and we could fly! We saw everything: The Pride Lands, Pride Rock, the watering hole, the elephant graveyard, and it was so cool!”
4. The Soundtrack See’s New Music From Beyoncé And Artists From The Original Animated Production.
Composer Hans Zimmer explained how he wanted to transport the audience to Africa and wanted to feel as though “you were on a journey.” He worked with musical legends Pharrell Williams and Lebo M, and even brought back some of the music team who worked on the original score in 1994.
Beyoncé fans will also enjoy new music and a music video from the Queen called “Spirit.”
The movie has already stolen our hearts and is sure to be a box office smash hit. Enchanting, eye-catching and tear-jerking – The Lion King is finally in cinemas now.