Disney announces 'Lion King' reboot with Beyoncé in a leading role
People of a certain age have a lot of love for The Lion King. In fact, it's pretty hard to find anyone who doesn't adore the movie, let alone dislike it. From some memorable characters and foot-tapping tunes for the ages, the movie didn't exactly skimp on the drama either - with some of the most emotional scenes in a Disney story since Bambi.
It's been nearly a quarter of a century since the movie landed in theatres in 1994, and its fanbase hasn't exactly died down. Building on this insatiable appetite to see more of this world, Disney announced that they are going to remake The Lion King, this time as a live-action movie in the vein of recent successes Cinderella, The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast.
It's unclear what live-action means in this scenario, since the animals will be computer-generated like in The Jungle Book, this time without a human character like Mowgli. Still, the photorealistic CGI creatures of that movie looked incredible, and with advances in technology they are likely to look even better this time around.
Back in March this year Variety reported the rumour that none other than Beyoncé in a leading role. At the time they cited "insiders" that said that the singer had not made a decision as she was pregnant with twins. Given that this was Beyoncé, the studio and director put things on hold to accommodate the star's schedule - and they were right to, as she has now been confirmed to star, alongside a stellar cast.
Thanks to a cast announcement from Disney on Twitter, we can see exactly who is playing the characters we know and love. First off is the confirmation that Beyoncé will be playing Nala, childhood best friend and eventual wife of the protagonist Simba - who will be played by the endlessly talented actor/singer/rapper/writer/comedian Donald Glover.
These two are a great match, as they have both shown their talent for performing and singing, but given Beyoncé's vast popularity, it's possible we will see Nala's role in the story beefed up to accommodate this. They will be playing the adult roles, while two young actors have been cast for their early scenes as cubs. To see the full cast list just look below:
It looks like Chiwetel Ejiofor will be bringing his Shakespearean credibility to play the villainous Scar, while the irreplaceable James Earl Jones will return as Mufasa. Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen as the comedic pair Timon and Pumbaa is a pretty spot-on choice too - and let's hope John Oliver can live up to Rowan Atkinson's portrayal of Zazu.
The movie is scheduled to be released in July 2019, the year of the original's 25th anniversary, and it will be directed by Jon Favreau, the man behind The Jungle Book remake. In a statement Favreau said "It is a director's dream to assemble a talented team like this to bring this classic story to life".
We'll be seeing a few more of these live-action remakes further down the line, as there are plans for an Aladdin movie directed by Guy Ritchie, as well as a live-action reboot of Mulan. We can hardly wait.