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Movie Pilot staff writer. Dog befriender by day, aspiring shield-maiden by night. twitter.com/brookalus

What's even more exciting than a live-action remake of #TheLionKing? The ability to explore Simba's kingdom with virtual reality! Now, director Jon Favreau has confirmed that he's making that possible.

The Lion King [Buena Vista Pictures]
The Lion King [Buena Vista Pictures]

Favreau utilised VR technology when making The Jungle Book live action remake, and now he's planning to take it even further with The Lion King.

Disney released VR teaser videos in the lead up to the release of The Jungle Book, allowing fans to experience the dark recesses of the jungle in a truly immersive way. In a recent interview with Coming Soon, Favreau said that he will be "developing the process further", beyond its use in The Jungle Book. He plans to do this using much of the same technology used by James Cameron's Avatar:

"A lot of the simulcam and motion capture technology that we use here, a lot of it was innovated around the making of ‘Avatar,’ and hasn’t really changed much, because there’s just not a lot of consumers"

Avatar [20th Century Fox]
Avatar [20th Century Fox]

While the film technology used in Avatar hasn't progressed too much since its release, Favreau will be exploring the capabilities of film that have been made possible by advancements in game design:

"If you want to look at things in real time, especially in 3D, the game engines offer you a lot of opportunities to build upon that engine.”

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The film crew will be utilising VR not only to provide new ways to explore the movie's detailed environments, but as a design tool for creating them; as Favreau puts it, to "build footage". Rather than scouting for locations, the crew can design a virtual environment to explore, making it easier to construct the perfect scene.

Endless Possibilities

The Lion King was a vivid explosion of color and imagination. Now, in classic Disney style, that same world is going to be brought to life in an entirely new way. Here's some key scenes from the 1994 original that would be absolutely incredible to experience in virtual reality:

1. Hakuna Matata Falls

The Jungle Book showed us the amazing potential of jungle exploration in virtual reality. Now imagine that with breathtaking waterfalls, slimy neon bugs and Timon and Pumba serenading your journey!

2. The Pride Lands

Overlooking the Savanna from the treetops; sprinting across the vast plains on the back of an ostrich; building a non-human pyramid with an array of beastly buddies. Who would pass up the chance to rub shoulders with the Pride Lands' best dancers?

3. Elephant Graveyard

Dodging unstable geysers and exploring gargantuan elephant skeletons is a thrilling prospect— even more so with the threat of a hungry pack of hyenas just around the corner!

4. Wildebeest Stampede

Nineties kids can reminisce about the glory of Pogs and View-Masters til the cows come home, but you know what the real marker of a legitimate nineties childhood was? The traumatising effect of the wildebeest stampede that killed Mufasa. Imagine thousands of cloven hoof murder cows charging towards you, surrounding you with the thunderous cacophony of doom and terror while Scar cackles wickedly from an overhead ledge. If Jon Favreau has his way, your worst nightmare could become a reality! Now might be the best time to start looking for a good therapist.

What are you most excited to see from Favreau's Lion King virtual reality technology?

(Source: Coming Soon)