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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.

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