Disney ‘s The Lion king which was released in 1994 was and is still a huge success, spawning a hit Broadway musical, cartoon spinoffs and much more. The animated movie alone made just under a billion dollars in the box office. The film received an Oscar for the song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” by Elton John and Tim Rice, with the soundtrack selling more than 14 million copies. Its stage production has also gone on to win six Tony Awards.
Yesterday Disney released the list of the movie’s cast with additions to the initial castings released in February.
The movie will feature a couple of big names with Beyoncé being the most talked about. Music’s Queen B will be playing Simba’s love interest, a part voiced by Moira Kelly in the original film. James Earl Jones who is part of the original cast of the animation will reprise his role as Mufasa in the upcoming movie.
When looking at the cast lineup, one would definitely notice the drastic difference between the cast members in the 1994 film and it’s live-action reboot. At least 70% of the cast in the original film were white whereas in its live-action counterpart black actors take predominance. The GrapeVine dubbed the movie as ‘The Blackest Disney Movie Ever’ (in terms of ratio of white-to-black actots) with Black Panther coming in as a close second.
The cast breakdown is as follows (original cast members to the left and live-action cast members to the right)
Simba voiced by actor Matthew Broderick, will now be portrayed by award winning actor, director and rapper, Donald Glover
Nala voiced by Moira Kelly, will be played by Beyonce Knowles-Carter
Scar voiced by Jeremy Irons will be played by Chiwetel Ejiofor in the reboot
Zazu voiced by Rowan Atkinson in the original film will be played by John Oliver
Sarabi was originally played by Madge Sinclair will be played by Alfre Woodard
Timon and Pumbaa originally played by Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella will be played by Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen
Keegan-Micahel Key will be playing the hyena Kamari
Other cast members include Eric Andre, Florence Kasumba, JD McCrary and Shahadi Wright Joseph.
The lion king joins the long list of Disney’s live-action reboots with other movies like Mulan and Aladdin which are also underway. The film is being conceived along the lines of another recent remake; The Jungle Book. Movie viewers should expect the jungle-book like effects with photorealistic computer-generated animals being voiced by the cast.
It is scheduled for release in July 2019 and will be directed by Jim Favreau, who also led The Jungle Book reboot. Favreau stated “This is a story that belongs to everyone who grew up with the original film. It is a director’s dream to assemble a talented team like this to bring this classic story to live.”
The succes of the animation gives it's live-action reboot very big shoes to fill. Hopefully Disney doesn't dissapoint.
Lion king fact: James Earl Jones (Mufasa) and Madge Sinclair Sarabi) were also the king and queen in Coming to America