The new version of The Lion King has been in production since 2016 – and is likely to continue up to its scheduled release in July next year. The visual effects team is led by Rob Legato, whose credits include The Jungle Book remake as well as hits such as Titanic, Armageddon and Apollo 13.
There’s been a bit of controversy about The Lion King being called a “live-action remake”, as unlike The Jungle Book remake – which combined human actors and computergenerated animal characters – this film only has animated non-human actors and no real animals were used in filming. But Rob told The Hollywood Reporter he doesn’t consider The Lion King remake an animated movie as Jon Favreau is combining virtual reality technology with traditional live-action filmmaking.
Girish Balakrishnan, the film’s virtual production supervisor, said The Lion King was filmed using motion capture – filming performers in action and replacing them with animated characters.
This technique was used to create realistic looking non-human characters, such as Rocket and Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy and the apes in the Planet of the Apes films.