Jon Favreau has said that The Lion King had to “feel like it’s 2019”.

The director has said that the cast and crew envisioned a “very modern” story for the new version

Favreau said that in the 25 yeas since the original film was released, the comedy has dated.

Beyonce stars in the remake of The Lion King (Ian West/PA)

He has also said the casting and authenticity of the project had to feel up to date.

The filmmaker, who was also behind the updated version of The Jungle Book, has said he felt a responsibility to honour the original material.

But Favreau said that after a quarter of a century, the film needed an update.

He said: “I think the whole thing has to feel like it’s 2019.

“Whether it’s the music, the casting, the visual effects, the way we really try to embrace the authenticity of what inspired the original.

Seth Rogen plays Pumbaa in the film
Seth Rogen plays Pumbaa in the film (Ian West/PA)

“Then letting the comedy be updated too, and make that feel modern, because that’s one of the areas where I felt 25 years, you felt the difference.”

Favreau has said that he wanted the film to both feel new and like the original version.

He said he wanted the audience response to be: “Even though this is a new movie, I did see the Lion King.”

He added: “Then hopefully the new generation goes back and looks at the old version too.”

Favreau also said that he did not want the audience to miss out on a new experience, wanting to ensure: “It didn’t just feel like, ‘I should have just watched the cartoon’, that this is something that’s building upon something I already love.”

The Lion King is released Friday in the UK.