The live-action Lion King will co-star Beyoncé!
Following months of murmurs, we now know that it’s actually happening: Beyoncé will voice Nala in the live-action adaptation. She’ll work opposite Donald Glover, who’s been booked as Simba.
Other notable additions to the cast include Chiwetel Ejiofor (Scar), Keegan-Michael Key (Kamari), and Eric André (Azizi). We’re also learning today that Hans Zimmer has been booked to score.
Here’s a nice photo of the full cast:
A press release from Disney (below) lays out the synopsis of the new Lion King and names each cast member.
The movie is billed as “a new take” from “Disney Live Action,” and will be directed by Jon Favreau (live-action Jungle Book). “It is a director’s dream to assemble a talented team like this to bring this classic story to life,” said Favreau in a statement.
Lions rule the African savanna in The Lion King, which welcomes Donald Glover (Atlanta, Solo: A Star Wars Story) as future king Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter (Dreamgirls, Lemonade visual album) as Simba’s friend-turned-love interest Nala, and James Earl Jones (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Field of Dreams) as Simba’s wise and loving father, Mufasa, reprising his iconic performance from Disney’s 1994 animated classic. Chiwetel Ejiofor (Twelve Years a Slave, Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange) was called on to portray Simba’s villainous uncle Scar, and Alfre Woodard (Juanita, Marvel’s Luke Cage) portrays Simba’s no-nonsense mother, Sarabi. JD McCrary (OWN’s Tyler Perry’s The Paynes, Apple’s Vital Signs) fills the shoes of Young Simba, a confident cub who can’t wait to be king, and Shahadi Wright Joseph (NBC’s Hairspray Live, Broadway’s The Lion King) brings tough cub Young Nala to life.
Every kingdom comes with a trustworthy advisor or two. John Kani (Coriolanus, Marvel Studios’ Captain America: Civil War) was cast as the wise baboon Rafiki, and John Oliver (HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) was tapped as hornbill Zazu, Mufasa’s loyal confidant. When Simba goes into exile, he relies on two newfound friends—Seth Rogen (Sausage Party, Neighbors) lends his comedic chops to naïve warthog Pumbaa, and Billy Eichner (Billy on the Street, FX’s American Horror Story) joins the cast as know-it-all meerkat Timon.
While most of the animals in the kingdom respect the king, the hyenas have other plans. Florence Kasumba (NBC’s Emerald City, Marvel Studios’ Black Panther) portrays Shenzi, Eric André (Adult Swim’s The Eric André Show, FXX’s Man Seeking Woman) is Azizi, and Keegan-Michael Key (Predator, Netflix’s Friends from College) plays Kamari.
The original Lion King, released by Disney Animation in 1994, is considered one of the greatest animated movies of all time. Needless to say, expectations for this reimagining are extremely high. Having Beyoncé on board will surely calm some people’s nerves a bit. Now we can’t wait to hear those classic songs!
The movie hits theaters July 19, 2019.