this is "nightline." tonight breaking news. former supreme court justice john paul stevens dead at 99. the court's third-longest-serving justice. what we're now learning. plus 20 years after that fateful night, that fatal flight. a look at the last days of jfk junior. born to a life of privilege and pain. the rare candid footage of the life and legacy of an american prince. and no"the lion king." the circle of life re-imagined. the new disney classic, the journey back to africa. and new voices bringing old friends to life. beyonce, donald glover, seth
news. retired supreme court justice john paul stevens died tonight in ft. lauderdale, florida after suffering a stroke yesterday. president jerald ford appointed stevens in 1975 as a moderate. but he eventually emerged at court's leading liberal, retiring after serving 35 years on the nation's highest court. >> i think i've been told over and over again in case after case after case that on some issues i surprised people, yes. but all judges do that. >> in 2012, president obama awarded him the medal of freedom. justice john paul stevens was 99 years old. we turn now to the tragic plane crash exactly 20 years ago tonight. there was already worry and concern on cape cod, massachusetts. a small, private plane had failed to land as expected. the pilot, john f. kennedy jr. the accident that killed the son of a slain president also marked
a turning point for a country that had always might have been. here's my "nightline" co-anchor, byron pitts. >> reporter: for jfk, jr., it seemed his birth right and burden, all of it in abundance, the kennedy name, the kennedy looks, and sadly, the kennedy luck. and for all times, a president's son, america's royal. romantically linked to cindy crawford and madonna, daryl hannah. >> john was used to the kind of attention he got be being his mother's son and his father's son. but things were different when he was voted people's sexiest man. >> do you mind all the stuff about you? >> people can say a lot worse things about you, right, than you're attractive and you look good in a bathing suit. >> reporter: now it 20 years after his death, an intimate look at the life and legacy of
john f. kennedy jr., rarely seen footage of battles with the paparazzi and new details about the day and night of that fateful flight. >> and now, the young man who we remember playing under john kennedy's desk is here to introduce his uncle. >> the kennedy family has begun to arrive. >> reporter: he reentered the national political spotlight at the 1988 democratic convention. >> i'm not a political leader, but i can speak for those of my age who have been inspired by teddy to give their energy and their ideas to their community and not just to themselves. >> he wrote that speech, and he was someone who obviously suddenly, you saw the possibility of another kennedy in the white house. >> reporter: no longer the little boy etched in the nation's memory at his father's funeral. >> as the coffin passed by, jackie leaned down and said now say good-bye to your father.
and john delivered what would be the world's most famous >> good bye, daddy, he said, president kennedy's son saying bye to the father he loved and knew for just a short time. it was john john's 3rd birthday. >> john and his mother adored each other. >> jackie, she didn't want him flying. one of the reasons for that was the horrible track record the kennedys had with flying. >> if jackie was alive, he would not have pursued getting his pilot's license, but she had died. >> reporter: one year after her passing, he launched his publication "george". >> what john did was different. there were serious ideas within the pages of "george" magazine,
and then there were also, you know, flashy celebrities. >> ultimately, this magazine is going to stand or fall on whether or not it's a good magazine. and a couple issues on down the line, my last name isn't really going to matter. >> while john was at the tail end of his relationship with daryl hannah, he went to buy a suit at calvin kline. there was a personal shopper there named carolyn bissett. >> she was graceful, lovely. >> stunning, blond, very personable. >> carolyn was very independent. shy was a strong woman, and i think he loved that. >> when john and carolyn would walk into an event, the entire place would stop. >> carolyn! >> carolyn was really having a hard time with paparazzi. just was a slow erosion of happiness of privacy that she didn't know how to handle. >> from the very beginning, they had a volatile relationship.
and unfortunately, cameras were always there to record it. there was one particularly revealing moment when they were dating, and on the beach and suddenly they encountered paparazzi. >> come on, john! don't [ bleep ] do that. >> don't come up to my girlfriend when she's on the beach aloin ane and start takin photographs! >> you have a partner who's not used to this, and she didn't ask for this. that made john angry. >> reporter: but despite being hounded by paparazzi, the couple remained strong. >> they were always giggling and laughing and kissing. >> john actually managed to keep his marriage to carolyn in november of 1996 a total secret. he summoned all of his friends to cumberland island off the coast of georgia. >> reporter: but after slipping away for their intimate wedding
life back in new york city was anything but peaceful. >> carolyn started to have a lot more fears and anxiety. she really couldn't go out, day or night, without being followed and filmed. >> reporter: in july, 1999, the young couple along with carolyn's sister lauren planned what would be a fateful trip to a family wedding in kennedy's small plane. >> they were headed to hyannis port for the wedding of rory. >> reporter: they met at an airport outside new york city where carolyn may have made what may have been her last phone call. >> is sshe had just gotten to t airport, she said i love you, and i said i know, and they hung up. >> it was just about getting dark. >> i flew out the same night at almost the same time. i was going to nantucket. when i flew past marshatha's
vineyard, i couldn't see it. >> reporter: they never made it to martha's vineyard. kennedy's plane going down seven miles from shore. he was 38. >> it was midnight. and the phone rang, and it was john's friend, who was at hyannis airport writing faiting them. it was just one of those moments when the minute i heard his voice i just knew. >> we weare interrupting your program for information involvingohn f. kennedyr. th the son of the slain president. his plane is missing. >> some wreckage began to wash up ashore on martha's vineyard. >> reporter: after five days, searchers found the plane and the bodies of john, carolyn and
lauren still strapped in their seats. >> they determined it was pilot error. essentially, john f. kennedy jr. suffered from spatial disorientation. he flew into a haze. it was at night. he had trouble seeing and he was only certified to fly in visible flying conditions. >> we lost a dream, a legacy, so many things. they were our prince and princess. >> the busineisset family lost daughters. >> john was the last glimmer of hope of the fantasy that there was once a spot called camelot. >> and our thanks to byron for that report. up next, the circle of life, full circle. "the lion king" coming back with a superstar cast, old and new.
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♪ >> reporter: people really, really love "the lion they do the simba thing at sporting events. >> raise those beautiful babies in the air. >> >> reporter: hundreds of millions of people have seen and come under the spell of "the lion king." >> i spell like hakuna matata. these songs still come up. >> you hear that. ♪ it means no worries when i was in school, i don't remember anyone ever using the phrase "no worries", and you hear it every day. ♪ >> reporter: and now, a new generation of fans is being introduced to "the lion king." director jon favreau gave me an
exclusive sneak behind the scenes. it's the same story fans have loved for 25 years, but favreau has used virtual reality to give it a whole new look, taking it to the next technical level. request y can you explain to people? >> it's hard. it's never been done before. it's a mixture of technologies. we knew we had to make it feel like a live action film as much as possible. but there's nothing real in the movie, no real animals, no real sets. no motion capture. nothing. just pixels. >> reporter: those pixels look just like animals to me. jon showed me part of the movie and i couldn't tell the difference. >> rises and falls like the sun. >> i just thought it was completely remarkable and just pushing the envelope in an extraordinary way. >> this is wildly complicated. i could explain it. >> i can describe it, i can't explain it. >> i have no idea. >> what technology? >> she's talking about the
cameras? >> at one point they put some sort of virtual reality helmet on me. i still don't know why. >> at one point. i still don't get it. >> disney has your brain now. >> exactly. >> reporter: to keep the human touch, the photography wasn't computerized. the cameraman operated a real camera, linked to the virtual rye at program. >> lion, lion, lion! >> i wanted to make the naturalism not be just in the technology and rendering but also in the performance. >> hakuna matata! >> most people get a bigger reaction. >> i wanted the overlaps, i wanted the conversation. i wanted people to try things. >> you must take your place in the circle of life. >> reporter: let's talk about the cast. james earl jones. who else could play knmufa >> one day it will be my son who rules. >> when i worked with him i said
do you have any direction? i didn't know what to say. i was like, no, just say it. even you just talking to me about it sounds like mufasa. >> the king's time as ruler rises and falls like the sun. >> reporter: the rest of the cast is new, and it's stellar. a host of award-winning, dramatic and comedic actors. >> when i was a young -- >> reporter: now did you envision when you're talking about the warthog seth rogen? >> yeah, that was a pretty easy one. that wasn't a hard piece of casting to do. his voice is great. a real laugh from him sounds even better than a stage laugh. >> reporter: and in a cast and crew that created buzz in the bey hive and on social media worldwide, nala is the one and only beyonce. >> simba. you have to take your place as
king. ♪ can you feel the love tonight ♪ >> it was important to the director that nala had met the females in this film who are heroes, and he put nala right alongside simba in the big fight. and i thought that was really interesting and very real. because the women are, you know, we're the fighters. >> everything you see exists together in a delicate balance. >> reporter: making the lion king for a new generation of viewers poses a particular challenge. >> the hard part about "the lion king" is that everybody knows it, and people love it. >> how much do you honor it? how much do you stray from it? how much do you give people exactly what they're expecting and how much do you subvert those expectations. that is the biggest challenge. >> reporter: what is the process
of going, okay, there's some scenes that you shouldn't touch. and there's others that you are like hey, ci could do something different here. >> there's a process i use. i make a list of everything i remember about it without looking what are the things i think are important, what are the moments i think i have to hit? so we had to hit those moments and take it a step further, breathing more reality into it and still honoring the fable and fairy tale that is at its core. >> reporter: from the joyful exuberance of childhood to the lessons of maturity. if you look beyond the adventure and sentiment, the lion king is a story about life. >> as i get older, as my kids grow up you realize the job of a storyteller is to prepare them for what life has coming. and not everything's pleasant, but there is a way, if you show up to it in the right way, with
the right support it's still, it's still a happy movie. >> reporter: it is a happy movie. and there's no better example of that feeling than hakuna matata, an anthem of happiness, embraced around the world. >> hakuna matata! ♪ hakuna matata ♪ hakuna matata matata ♪ matatt ♪ ha cuna kuna matata ♪ >> slimy, but satisfying. >> can't wait. "the lion king" is in theaters friday. and full disclosure, disney is the parent company of abc news. up next, the power of a bedtime story, featuring two very young bookworms. bladder leak underwear. someone miy
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are helping people fall asleep by sharing their passion for books. the duo hosting a live bedtime story every night. >> i will be reading how jelly roll morton invented jazz. >> picking up books at the library each week with characters who look like them, using the power of their voices to spread the power of and carrying on the spirit with gusto. that's "nightline." you can catch our full