As Disney continues to mine their rich animated archive for live-action reboots, we previously reported that the Mouse House’s 1994 Oscar-winning classic The Lion King is getting the reboot treatment. Jon Favreau, fresh from the success of the recent reboot of The Jungle Book, is set to direct the film. News today, first from Deadline, has surfaced that screenwriter Jeff Nathanson has been tapped to pen the live-action transfer.
While Nathanson may not be a household name (few screenwriters, outside of Sorkin, really are), he has contributed the scripts of many large-scaled features in recent memory. One of his earliest credited assignments was the notable misfire Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997), yet he rebounded nicely thanks to relationships with directors Steven Spielberg and Brett Ratner. Nathanson penned the scripts for both Rush Hour 2 (2001), Rush Hour 3 (2007) and Tower Heist (2011) for Ratner, as well as Catch Me If You Can (2002), The Terminal (2004) and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) for Spielberg. He earned a BAFTA nomination for his work on Catch Me If You Can. Nathanson also wrote and directed the Hollywood comedy The Last Shot (2004).
Most recently, Nathanson penned the script for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the fifth entry in the Jack Sparrow tale. That film, distributed by Disney, is slated to open on May 27, 2017.
As of now, there aren’t any concrete release plans for the live-action reboot of The Lion King, though developments appear to be moving at a swift place. We will stay tuned.