‘Lion King’ Director Jon Favreau Talks Virtual Production and Working With Beyonce in ‘Behind the Screen’ Podcast

I love hearing the behind the scene conversations!


The film’s inventive virtual production process is now in use on ‘The Mandalorian.’

The Lion King director Jon Favreau is featured in a new episode of The Hollywood Reporter’s Behind the Screen series.

In a conversation with THR tech editor Carolyn Giardina, Favreau discusses a wide range of topics including the Disney film’s groundbreaking virtual production process; new music from Beyonce, Elton John and Tim Rice; working with composer Hans Zimmer; and honoring Disney’s beloved 1994 animated classic, on which his movie is based.

“This movie is nothing without that film,” says Favreau of the 1994 Lion King. “This is building on what they created.”

Virtual production loosely means that the filmmakers used techniques typical of live-action filmmaking though the final result is a photoreal fully-CG movie.

Describing it as a “multiplayer VR filmmaking game” that incorporating virtual reality headsets and a real-time game engine, Favreau reported that he’s already used some of the techniques for his upcoming Star Wars series The Mandalorian for  Disney+. “It allows us to make the movie together virtually before we ever shoot the episodes. [It] informed how much set we have to build, what is in the background. … In the first season, we used video walls and gaming engine technology.”

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