Disney Announces New Cast of ‘The Lion King’

BY: MACKENZIE GALLOWAY

After months of rumors, Disney on Thursday announced the cast of the live-action version of “The Lion King.” The film is expected to be released in September 2019, and features Donald Glover as Simba, Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen as the hilarious Timon and Pumbaa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as the nefarious Scar, and John Oliver as the silly “babysitter,” Zazu.

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James Earl Jones will reprise his role as Mufasa. In one of the most anticipated roles, Beyonce Knowles Carter —Queen Bey herself— will play Nala, Simba’s childhood best friend and love-interest. Beyonce will also be a major contributor to the soundtrack, which was one of the most epic parts of both the animated film and the broadway production.

People were pleased to see familiar names playing the voices of the characters they fell in love with more than  two decades ago. Many took to Twitter to share their excitement:

It has been 23 years since the world was introduced to one of the greatest blockbuster musicals of our time: “The Lion King.” This epic film earned a whopping worldwide total of nearly $1 billion, and became the highest grossing animated film and the second- highest grossing film of all time when it was released in 1994.  The film’s legacy has remained, with two blockbuster sequels, a successful worldwide Broadway adaptation and a few TV series spin-offs.

The announcement of a live-action version of The Lion King follows positive reception of other live-action Disney films, “Beauty and the Beast” (2017), “The Jungle Book” (2016) and “Cinderella” (2015). Disney will likely spend a sizable amount of money on the movie, which will be essential in ensuring state-of-the-art CGI elements. The live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast” cost the media giant $300 million to create, reported The New York Times. Considering Disney’s previous successes, this revamped “The Lion King” is bound to become another classic.