The Lion King
The Lion King live-action reboot will be written by Steven Spielberg veteran Jeff Nathanson Disney

It was only a few weeks ago that Disney confirmed it was developing a live-action reboot of 1994 animated classic The Lion King, announcing that The Jungle Book director Jon Favreau was already linked to the project. Now, the studio seems to be getting things underway having lined-up screenwriter Jeff Nathanson to pen the upcoming movie's script.

Nathanson's best known credits in the industry include Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can and The Terminal, as well as Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. He most recently worked on the script for sequel Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, starring Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp.

Boasting the voice talent of Whoopi Goldberg, Nathan Lane, Rowan Atkinson, Matthew Broderick and Jeremy Irons, the original followed young lion cub Simba, who is forced to find his own identity when his father – the King – dies.

Having grossed $968.8m (£791.5m) at the box office and scooping up two Oscars for best original score and best original song (Elton John/Tim Rice for The Circle of Life), it was turned into a musical stage production on Broadway in 1997, opening in London's West End two years later.

Jeff Nathanson
Jeff Nathanson is writing the script Vince Bucci / Getty

This new version of The Lion King joins a long list of live-action adaptations that Disney has in the pipeline. Beauty And The Beast, starring Dan Stevens and Emma Watson, will be the next outing, set to be released in March 2017.

The studio has also confirmed that a long-awaited sequel to Mary Poppins is on its way too, with Emily Blunt, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer and Lin-Manuel Miranda set to star.

Other reboots getting the same real-life treatment that have been announced recently include Mulan, Aladdin, The Sword In The Stone and a 101 Dalmatians spin-off centring around villain Cruella (with Emma Stone reportedly playing the titular character).

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