Over the last few years, Disney has put out a number of live-action remakes of their classic films including Maleficent, Beauty and the Beast, and Cinderella. The Disney live-action remake has become so ubiquitous now that it would take something extraordinary to get people to take notice and get excited. Well…something remarkable is taking place for the upcoming Lion King remake in the form of an incredible cast. Can you feel the love tonight? You will with this casting!
Although the roster is flush with incredible talent, there is one name that is deservedly getting the most attention. Nala will be played by none other than Queen Bey herself! Forget Lion King, this remake should be called Lion Queen! The Beyhive is losing their collective mind on Twitter in reaction to the news. Beyoncé’s romantic counterpart Simba will be played by Donald Glover. Judging by his many wins during this past awards season, Glover doesn’t have to wait to be king. He’s already well on his way.
Young Simba and Nala will be played by newcomers JD McCrary and Shahadi Wright Joseph. McCrary found himself making the headlines a few times this week. First, for casting this dream job. Then, a pickup truck crashed into his bedroom. Luckily, young Simba and his family were unhurt in this scary incident. Simba’s dad Mufasa will be played by yet another enormous talent: James Earl Jones. If this sounds familiar, it’s because Jones was the voice of Mufasa in the 1994 animated original. Taking on the role of villain Scar is Chiwetel Ejiofor. Rounding out this A-list cast are Alfre Woodard, John Kani, John Oliver, Billy Eichner, Seth Rogen, Florence Kasumba, Eric André, and Keegan-Michael Key.
Although the film clearly has dream casting, some saw missed opportunities. To the delight of their fans, Migos threw their hats into the ring for the roles of the three hyenas, only to realize it was too late as the roles had already been cast. The film will be directed by Jon Favreau who was also behind Disney’s successful live-action remake of The Jungle Book. For a film with no human beings, it will be interesting to see how the live-action version looks. There will likely be some CGI elements, as was used in the more fantastical elements of the Beauty and the Beast remake.
The Lion King remake is set to be released in summer 2019.