The live-action remake of ‘The Lion King’ may have impressed the masses and gone on to become one of the most successful movies of all-time, but one person who isn’t impressed is Elton John.
An integral component of the original (and subsequent stage show), the legend was tapped to contribute to the soundtrack for the 2019 incarnation.
Yet, in a new interview, he reveals that he was far from happy with the end-product.
See what the outspoken star had to say below…
Speaking with GQ, he said of Jon Favreau film:
“The new version of The Lion King was a huge disappointment to me, because I believe they messed the music up. Music was so much a part of the original and the music in the current film didn’t have the same impact. The magic and joy were lost. The soundtrack hasn’t had nearly the same impact in the charts that it had 25 years ago, when it was the bestselling album of the year. The new soundtrack fell out of the charts so quickly, despite the massive box-office success. I wish I’d been invited to the party more, but the creative vision for the film and its music was different this time around and I wasn’t really welcomed or treated with the same level of respect. That makes me extremely sad. I’m so happy that the right spirit for the music lives on with the Lion King stage musical.”
On the one hand, in such a PC era, it’s refreshing to see an artist so unwavering in their position of keeping it real at all times. A trait Sir Elton is regally renown for.
And, in probing his comments, it’s hard to deny much of what he said when it comes to the commercial performance (or lackthereof) of the movie’s music.
That said, it’s not like his song was anything to scream about. It was actually one of the weaker tracks on the project. Perhaps, he wanted the experience to mirror his involvement in the 1994 film, which saw him anchor more songs?
So one has to wonder whether that’s the source of his angst or whether he’s just being frank about the behind the scenes process of piecing together the project; a process only a select few were privy to.
All that aside, his comments do make for interesting debate:
Could and should ‘The Lion King’ soundtrack have been approached differently?
From our vantage point, it’s clear the interest in the film ultimately ended up being more rooted in millennial nostalgia about the story than a hunger for re-do’s of old songs.
As such, perhaps it would have benefitted to conjure up a soundtrack of mainly new songs with the inclusion of the core ‘Lion King’ cuts to satisfy all. With the most logical revision being to have Beyonce‘s companion project ‘The Gift’ instead function as the main soundtrack – of course with a few tweaks to render it more palatable to the masses.
Because, in looking at how effectively ‘A Star Is Born’ – for example – managed to create a mutually beneficial relationship between the on-screen story and the newly created music (which very much drove each other), aspects of ‘The Lion King’ 2019 do feel like a missed opportunity comparatively.
Enough of our ranting, though. What are…