Disney has finalized the main-cast of Jon Favreau’s “The Lion King,” which will be another live-action adaptation based on an original Disney Classic. The latest casting announcement includes fan-favorite Beyonce, who will be voicing Simba’s childhood bff Nala.
Beyonce first posted the news of her involvement on social-media, Disney then followed up on Instagram and Twitter to confirm the news. It was also confirmed that Keegan-Michael Key will be playing the role of Kamari, one of the hyenas in the story. The film had quite an amazing cast behind it already, with Donald Glover playing the role of Simba in the film, and James Earl Jones returning to the franchise to voice the role of Mufasa. Fans probably remember Jones’ booming-voice from the 1994 original version of “The Lion King”.
Joining them will be Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, and Alfre Woodard as Simba’s mother Sarabi. HBO’s John Oliver will be voicing the know-it-all bird Zazu, and John Kani will be the wise Rafiki. Florence Kasumba will be playing Shenzi, while Eric André will be playing Azizi. Let’s not forget the comedians of the film, Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen will be voicing Timon and Pumbaa in the project. As for young Simba, that will be JD McCrary, while young Nala will be played by Shahadi Wright Joseph.
The film is expected to be quite a hit for Disney, as Favreau’s “The Jungle Book” was an amazing milestone for the studio (both technically and financially). Disney earned high-praise from PETA for not using any large animals in making the film, and Disney’s “The Jungle Book” brought in over $103M for the studio on opening weekend. “The Jungle Book” then went on to make over $364M domestically, and over $966M worldwide.
“The Lion King” will be working from a script written by Jeff Nathanson, which was adapted from the 1994 screenplay written by Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, and Linda Woolverton.
Fans do have some waiting before “The Lion King” is ready for theaters, Disney is releasing the film on July 19, 2019.