Disney's Live-Action 'Lion King' Finds Its Writer

Justin Kroll

Jeff Nathanson has been tapped to write Disney’s live-action Lion King, the latest animated classic being reworked. Jon Favreau is already attached to direct.

Lion King was originally released in 1994 and is one of the highest-grossing animated films of all time with a lifetime global box office of $968.8 million.

The film is being fast-tracked even as Favreau begins development on his sequel to the recent hit The Jungle Book.

The studio’s emphasis on live-action comes after the success of Maleficent and Cinderella, and next year’s Beauty and the Beast is already one of the most anticipated movies of 2017. The first Beauty and the Beast teaser trailer in May was viewed a record 91.8 million times in its first 24 hours, besting Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The movie, starring Emma Watson, Luke Evans and Dan Stevens, will be released on March 17.

Nathanson is best known for his work on films such as Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can and The Terminal. He most recently worked on the script for Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

He is repped by UTA. Deadline Hollywood first reported the news.

Related stories

Get more from Variety and Variety411: Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Newsletter