Today it was announced that Beyonce has been cast as Nala in the upcoming live-action remake of The Lion King. When I first heard Disney was making a live action Lion King , I was super excited! This is because I made the assumption that there would be either live people or animals performing the action of The Lion King for me. This assumption was wrong.
Who wouldn't want to see a Milo And Otis-style Lion King in which Pumbaa disappears halfway through the movie because Simba kept eating him in real life? Or a Lion King cast with real people where the lion is a metaphor and it's mostly just Hamlet. Either scenario sounds pretty great to me, but what I'm apparently getting instead is a CGI version of The Lying King.
Calling it "live-action" is just a fancy rebranding of CGI because everyone is sick of CGI. None of the things happening in that movie will be happening live. What will be happening live is Beyonce and Donald Glover running around in Gollum mo-cap suits. At least, that's what I hope will be happening, because I would pay a lot more money to see that. I need to know how Beyonce would manage to make green spandex look good. At least Disney's "live-action" Jungle Book movie had one real person in it. Unless they're planning to expand Simba's friend group to include a dope human kid named Jeremy who skateboards around the Savannah, there's not going to be a single real thing in this film. So how can Disney call it live-action?
It's like someone asking me if I want a cookie, which sounds great, and then they say, "Well, it's a cookie, but it's made entirely of eggs." That's not a cookie, you monster! It's food, but it's not a cookie. You can call Jon Favreau's Lion King a movie, but you can't call it a live-action movie unless they bring in a bunch of real lions, which I'll admit sounds like a bad idea.
What are our standards for an event being live now? If I made a computer simulation of Donald Trump kicking a baby dressed as Uncle Sam and called it a live-action video, that would not be accurate. So why does Disney get to call The Lion King live-action? We can call it a slightly more realistic Lion King, but that's the most I'm willing to give it.
I understand why it can't actually be live-action. The Pumbaa budget alone would be massive. But if we're going to call something live-action, can we have footage of at least one actual living thing in it? And can that living thing be Beyonce? Please?
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Movies are never more unrealistic than when they're showing us exactly what a dollar can buy.