I grew up in the prime-time of Disney in the 90s. Hits were being dropped like cheeseburgers on a McDonald’s grill. There was The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Mulan, and of course, The Lion King. And while my jaded heart usually scowls at a remake, I am flat out ecstatic about this remake of The Lion King, and that’s because of this casting announcement made yesterday:
— Disney (@Disney) November 1, 2017
Where do I even start?! Oh, how about with Beyonce
Queen Bey will be gracing our ears as the voice of Nala. If they didn’t want Nala to outshine every other character, they made the wrong choice. I’m a huge fan of Donald Glover and he’s got a great voice, but there is no powerhouse like Beyonce. I can’t wait to see what she does in this role and I’ve already got my soundtrack on pre-order.
Then we have Childish Gambino himself in the role of Simba. As I already said, I’m a huge fan. I could jam out all day to his music, specifically Retro, which you should check out if you haven’t heard it. You’ll be bopping all day. He’s been doing great things in his role on his show Atlanta, you know, just winning an Emmy after only the first season, nbd. I honestly don’t think there’s anything he can’t do, so I am stoked to see him in this role.
Playing their younger counterparts are Shahadi Wright Joseph and JD McCrary. Both are relative newcomers, but Shahadi has some pretty impressive Broadway credits to her name.
But that’s not all! The amazingness doesn’t end! Here’s a rundown of all the gems in this cast.
We’ve got James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa, and there could really be no other, so it’s pretty great that they didn’t even try. And for his friendly, fun bro Scar we have Chiwetel Ejiofor. Who has some pretty serious dramas to his credit so it will be interesting to see him in a more lighthearted, albeit villainous, role.
And no Disney movie would be complete without the comedic relief. For that, we have John Oliver as Zazu, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, Billy Eichner as Timon on the good side.
Eric Andre, Florence Kasumba, and Keegan-Michael Key as Azizi, Shenzi, and Kamari, respectively, on the bad side (more commonly known – to me at least – as the best hyenas ever.)
If you had asked me two days ago, I would’ve said no one could replace Nathan Lane, Rowan Atkinson, or Whoopi Goldberg in The Lion King, but I might be wrong…I can’t wait for Seth Rogen as a gassy warthog or John Oliver as a persnickety hornbill. And I do need advice from little hornbills for a start.
I am curious how this movie will be made – it’s “live-action”…but every character is an animal. Everyone else seems to be a little confused, but luckily Billy Eichner gave us a tiny bit of clarification.
It is our voices, similar to the animals in Jungle Book. No I am not dancing around in a meerkat costume, which would be, um, a bold choice! https://t.co/fRcGYCXkvc
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) November 2, 2017
So essentially, it’s a modernization. Updated, realistic animation that looks so real you think it is. It’s directed by Jon Favreau, who also directed the remake of The Jungle Book in 2016. Disney released the first look at footage from the movie back in July, but of course, us peons of the public don’t get to see it yet. But word is it got the most applause of anything shown at the D23 convention, and that has to be a good sign. Disney lovers don’t love it when you mess with their Disney.
In summary, I just can’t wait for this movie. Unfortunately, we’ve got some time to kill. The Lion King will be out in the summer of 2019. I better go rummage in my mom’s basement for my old Lion King CD to get ready.