Original screenwriter of 'The Lion King' is sceptical about the remake

Hanna Flint
Contributor
Linda Woolverton is apprehensive about The Lion King remake

The writer of the original Lion King movie is not looking forward to the remake.

Linda Woolverton penned the 1994 animated feature as well as the 1991 movie The Beauty and the Beast and it’s because of the latter’s remake that she is sceptical.

Woolverton explained on the It Happened in Hollywood podcast that she was unhappy with the changes they made to the script and frustrated that they shut her out of the writer’s room.

“I wasn’t totally thrilled with The Beauty and the Beast remake because I didn’t think it was exactly true to the mythology of the storytelling,” she said. “And I’m not happy that I don’t get to participate. Who would be?”


Specifically, the screenwriter – who also penned 2014’s Maleficent and 2010’s Alice in Wonderland – did not agree with the changing of Le Fou to being in love with Gaston as well as the new ability for Beast to escape the castle.

“Was [Le Fou] in love with Gaston? No. He was just a toady and besotted with a person he could never be,” Woolverton said before discussing Beast’s magic mirror that let him out of his magical prison.

“The castle is supposed to be impenetrable,” she says. “After that, the mythology didn’t work for me.”

And on the remake of The Lion King, penned by Jeff Nathanson, Woolverton said: “I don’t know how [it] is going to be.”

Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro says he’s lost over a decade of work on unmade movies, including ‘Justice League Dark’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’

The new movie is a shot-for-shot remake of the original animation using photorealism to make the characters look like the real animals.

Donald Glover takes over as adult Simba with Beyonce voicing adult Nala, Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen as Timon and Pumbaa while James Earl Jones returns as Mufasa.

The Lion King is expected for release on July 19, 2019, to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the original film.

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