Disney has seen enormous success in its live-action adaptations of classic animated film, with the recent Beauty and the Beast becoming the second-highest grossing of 2017. But their next remake will be very different from the movie fans first fell in love with.
Superstar musician Elton John teamed with theater legend Tim Rice for the original soundtrack to The Lion King. And though they're reuniting for the live-action remake due to hit theaters in 2019, they will only be using four of the original songs from that beloved soundtrack.
"They need to have a new end credits song," said John. "There’s going to be four of our songs in the film, from the original: 'Can You Feel The Love Tonight?' 'Hakuna Matata,' 'I Just Can’t Wait To Be King,' and 'Circle of Life'. And then there will be an end, closing song, and we’ve been speaking to Beyoncé’s people and hopefully Tim and I and her can cook up something. That’s going out in 2019 as well. And it will be great to work with her. So we will see."
While they are including the four main hit songs that many people already have committed to memory, the lack of inclusion of "Be Prepared" might come as bad news for many fans.
The song sung by Jeremy Irons as The Lion King villain Scar was not quite as popular as the other four songs on the soundtrack, but has since become a cult favorite among Disney fans much like "Poor Unfortunate Souls" from The Little Mermaid or "Gaston" from Beauty and the Beast.
There's one more omission though it's not as glaring, as "The Morning Report" song by Jeff Bennett as Zazu is unlikely to be included as well. That one was not in the theatrical release of The Lion King, despite being written by John and Rice alongside the others, but was restored in a special edition later on.
Despite there only being four major classics included on The Lion King's new soundtrack, hearing of Rice and John collaborating with Beyoncé, who will voice Nala in the new film, should be satisfying for most fans.
While the movie is still a ways away from being completed, John teased that he's already seen footage of The Lion King remake.
"I’ve seen a little bit of the opening of it, which is amazing," John said. "Jon Favreau is directing it, he did an amazing job on The Jungle Book. The film is going to be amazing."
The Lion King premieres July 19th, 2019.