Jon Favreau, director of the 2019 remake of ’90s Disney classic The Lion King, recently stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live to talk about the premiere of the brand-new film. He and Kimmel also discussed what it was like to work with Beyoncé, Star Wars, and more, uploaded on Friday (July 12).
Favreau admitted he was extremely nervous before the big showing. “Usually by the time you’re premiering the film, you’ve had test screenings, or you’ve shown it to groups or you’ve had advanced screenings for critics, but we finished just in time for this premiere. And there it was in the Dolby [Theatre]… So it’s a bit intimidating. And everybody’s there. Actors hadn’t seen the film — most of them hadn’t seen any of it yet — and you’re starting to realize maybe they won’t like it.”
Fortunately though, the new cast and the filmmakers behind the 1994 original all seemed to like it when they were in attendance, which he said was a huge relief.
The filmmaker continued on to explain the sense of responsibility he felt not only to the original filmmakers, but to the fans who grew up with it, the new audiences who are seeing it, and his trusting cast. “This was a film where there was more pressure than I’ve ever felt before,” he said.
Favreau, who also directed Elf, Iron Man, and more, went on to share how Queen Bey got involved. “I got the message through to her, I didn’t have any personal relationship,” he shared. “She has kids and an affinity of affection for the film and could sing. She’s a good singer,” he laughed.
His upcoming Star Wars TV series, The Mandalorian, was also briefly discussed, which is set to arrive on Disney+ in November. “It’s after Return of the Jedi, so the empire is gone and all hell is breaking loose in the outer rim,” Favreau said about the show.
The live-action remake of The Lion King arrives in theaters on July 19.
Check out the full interview below.