Disney Is Turning ‘The Lion King’ Into the Next ‘Star Wars’

in Movies, Movies & TV

Disney is turning The Lion King into the next Star Wars | Credit: Disney

Credit: Disney

According to Sean Bailey, President of Walt Disney Pictures, The Lion King is the next Star Wars, or at least that the franchise is well on its way to the top.

THE LION KING, Ed, Scar, Shenzi, Banzai, Rafiki, Mufasa, Simba, Sarabi, Zazu, Timon, Pumbaa, Nala, 1994, (c)Walt Disney Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection
Credit: Walt Disney Co.

It’s not every day that Star Wars and The Lion King fall in the same sentence, but that might not be true for long. Sean Bailey went on record with The New York Times, saying that Mufasa: The Lion King is tracking to create ample growth for the franchise. “‘The Lion King’ could expand into a big, epic saga, like the ‘Star Wars’ franchise. There’s a lot of room to run if we can find the stories,” Bailey notes.

Sagas are tricky to achieve, but Bailey deems The Lion King universe to have some heavy-hitting potential. The idea is to use the film to piggyback into a mega-franchise, the likes of which only compare to something on the Star Wars level.

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Credit: Disney

While some fans might not agree with turning The Lion King into the next Star Wars, the pair has some clear similarities. For starters, both have clear intergenerational themes that put a heavy focus on fatherhood. Though they might target different audiences, both tales have roots in redemption, love, and forgiveness.

Two people wearing Star Wars shirts
Credit: Disney

So far, fans aren’t too happy about the idea of a cinematic universe for The Lion King. The issues relate to the timelessness of the original cartoon and its iconic soundtrack. For many, even going so far as to create a live-action film is too far, let alone an entire cinematic world.

Simba (Donald Glover) in Rafiki's (John Kani) hands in "The Lion King" | Credit: Disney
Credit: Disney

Star Wars has a loyal fan base and proof of concept for a fictional universe. Conversely, many remakes of Disney originals often leave fans disappointed as the baton passes from generation to generation.

Movie expectations change, and so do the films’ audiences. Bailey sees the potential in the intellectual property of The Lion King. Sure, it may not reach the stars, but with the right moves, it might cross beyond the Pride Lands and transform into something new.

What do you think about Disney turning The Lion King into the next Star Wars? Let Inside the Magic hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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