After the wildfire success of Bill Condon‘s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (which is still sitting pretty as the highest grossing movie of 2017 so far), you can bet your bottom dollar that Disney is ready to throw around some serious cash to make the most of their animated classic catalogue with star-studded live-action adaptations. Jon Favreau‘s THE LION KING is one of the most anticipated remakes on the lineup (though calling it live-action is a bit of a stretch since it will be almost entirely CG a la THE JUNGLE BOOK), and Disney has officially confirmed the full voice cast, along with a new synopsis.
The announcement firms up a number of previous reports, including Donald Glover as Simba, Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner as the impeccably cast Pumbaa and Timon, respectively, John Oliver as Zazu, Chiwetel Ejiofor as the villainous Scar, Alfre Woodard as Simba’s mother Sarabi, John Kani as the wise baboon Rafiki, James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa, and Queen Bey herself, Beyonce Knowles Carter for the role of Nala.
However, there are also some fun new reveals. The hyena pack is getting an upgrade with some new names and some killer comedic talent. Eric Andre will play Azizi, BLACK PANTHER’s Florence Kasumba will play Shezi and Keegan-Michael Key will play Kamari. newcomers JD McCrary and Shahadi Wright Joseph will play young Simba and Nala, respectively.
Check out the full cast in the announcement below:
And here’s the official new synopsis for the live-action THE LION KING remake:
“From Disney Live Action, director Jon Favreau’s all-new “The Lion King” journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother—and former heir to the throne—has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his. The all-star cast includes Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Billy Eichner as Timon and Seth Rogen as Pumbaa. Utilizing pioneering filmmaking techniques to bring treasured characters to life in a whole new way, “The Lion King” roars into theaters on July 19, 2019.”