The Lion King has been roaring its way through cinemas for several weeks, and now director Jon Favreau has revealed the one shot from the film that wasn’t produced entirely within a computer.
While promoting the film, the director has repeatedly teased that he placed one live-action image in amongst the photoreal effects shots, and that no one has been able to pick up which one it was.
Read more: Is the new Lion King live-action?
In bad news for those hoping Favreau and Disney had pointed a camera at some actual lions, the shot is far simpler than that.
Taking to Twitter, Favreau revealed that the very first shot of the movie, during the Circle of Life song, was filmed on location in Africa.
This is the only real shot in #TheLionKing. There are 1490 rendered shots created by animators and CG artists. I slipped in one single shot that we actually photographed in Africa to see if anyone would notice. It is the first shot of the movie that begins The Circle of Life. pic.twitter.com/CO0spSyCv4— Jon Favreau (@Jon_Favreau) July 26, 2019
He said: “There are 1490 rendered shots created by animators and CG artists.
“I slipped in one single shot that we actually photographed in Africa to see if anyone would notice.”
Read more: Controversial history of Lion King song
The new take on The Lion King, which built on many of the techniques also deployed in Favreau’s 2016 remake of The Jungle Book, has received a mixed response from critics.
Reviews have praised the visual achievement of the film, but also compared it to “deepfake” technology.
Favreau himself acknowledged the “responsibility” of taking on The Lion King in an interview with Yahoo Movies UK.
The 52-year-old director said: “I think we walk the line in the way that we're proud of.”
Despite its lukewarm critical response, The Lion King has continued Disney’s run of incredible financial form this year.
The remake is already within a whisker of smashing past the $1bn (£816m) barrier at the global box office.
Favreau’s next role is as the showrunner for Star Wars spin-off series The Mandalorian for the Disney+ streaming service.
The service has yet to launch, but Disney has already handed the show a second season, showing real confidence in the galaxy far, far away.
And who can blame them?