Last year Disney confirmed that the studio will be producing a remake of Disney’s classic animated tale “The Lion King,” with Jon Favreau directing. At the time Disney stopped short of detailing the cast, but the director took to social-media this weekend to name two major stars that have joined the project.
Favreau confirmed that Donald Glover, who will also be playing young Lando Calrissian in Disney’s Han Solo spinoff, will be playing the role of Simba. Favreau Tweeted, “I just can’t wait to be king. #Simba,” sharing a picture of Glover in the post. Just a few moments later, Favreau was back on social-media. This time the director confirmed that James Earl Jones will reprise his role as Mufasa. The Tweet read, “Looking forward to working with this legend. #Mufasa”. In the animated film, Matthew Broderick voiced the role of adult Simba and Jonathan Taylor Thomas voiced young Simba. It would be nice to hear Jeremy Irons reprise his role as evil Scar, but no confirmation has been made at this time. Also missing from the animated version at this time are Nathan Lane, who voiced Timon, and Ernie Sabella, the voice of Pumba. It’s unclear if Disney will recast these roles as well, or if the actors are available.
Favreau recently directed “Disney’s The Jungle Book,” which was a CGI-filled masterpiece that won praise from PETA last year. CGI will be used again in “The Lion King,” because Disney does not use large animals in filming anymore. PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange praised the director and the studio last year stating, “Forward-thinking directors like Jon Favreau know that the future of film lies in technical wizardry, not in beating animals into performing.” Lange went on to say, “PETA calls on directors and producers throughout Hollywood to follow in Favreau and Disney’s progressive footsteps.”
Without using any large-animals, “Disney’s The Jungle Book” made over $364M domestically, and over $966M worldwide.