25 years later, ‘The Lion King’ roars again (with Beyoncé)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “The Lion King” director Jon Favreau says he hopes audiences won’t be able to tell that his new version of the beloved classic isn’t actually live-action.

Favreau has employed state of the art technology, including a combination of virtual reality and keyframe animation, to create the hyper realistic animals for the film.

The director tells The Associated Press his version gives the story depth “not just visually but both story wise and emotionally.”

“The Lion King,” out Thursday, is one of this summer’s most anticipated releases. Early tracking suggest that it could make as much as $150 million in its first weekend in North America, and it’s already grossed over $55 million in China.

The film features the vocal talents of Donald Glover, Beyoncé and James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa.

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