Los Angeles Times

With 'The Lion King' and 'The Mandalorian,' director Jon Favreau cements his status as a Disney MVP

Heading into this week's opening of his photorealistic CGI remake of "The Lion King," you might assume that director Jon Favreau would be coasting on a wave of pure "hakuna matata." After all, if you're following in the footsteps of one of the most successful and beloved films of the past quarter century, animated or otherwise, what could there really be to worry about?

But the morning after the film's world premiere in Los Angeles this month, Favreau admitted that, to some degree, he felt like he was stepping into the pop culture lion's den. "Everybody has an opinion about 'The Lion King,'" he said. "They grew up with it. They could like 'The Lion King' and not like our 'Lion King.' There's a lot of potential outcomes here."

With projections of a

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