When Disney confirmed last year that The Lion King would be the latest title to join its never-ending slate of planned 'live action' reboots, the online response was mixed: why mess with perfection, after all?
Now, after months of long-rumbling rumours, Disney has finally confirmed some casting news that’s forced us to reconsider our opinion altogether: it's been revealed that the studio has tapped none other than Beyoncé Knowles-Carter will voice Nala, Simba's childhood friend turned love interest. Excuse us while we imagine the Beyoncé cover of 'Can You Feel The Love Tonight'...
Earlier this year, film industry bible VarietyVariety revealed that the singer was director Jon Favreau's 'top choice' to voice Nala in the forthcoming re-make of Disney's classic animation which is slated for a July 2019 release..
Also confirmed for The Lion King are Atlanta's Donald Glover, who will voice Simba, and James Earl Jones, who will reprise his role of Mufasa (because, really, there’s only one true king of Pride Rock). Joining are Chiwetel Ejiofor, who’ll play Simba’s villainous Uncle Scar, TV host John Oliver as Mufasa’s feathered sidekick Zazu (a role originated by Rowan Atkinson), John Kani as Rafiki and Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen as Timon and Pumbaa.
According to Disney, the re-make promises a ‘new take’ on the ‘90s animation (itself loosely based in turn on Shakespeare’s Hamlet), boasting ‘pioneering filming techniques.’ Much like this year’s live action Beauty and the Beast, which starred Emma Watson, it will feature Elton John’s much-loved original music: think 'I Just Can’t Wait To Be King,' 'Be Prepared,' 'Hakuna Matata' and those iconic opening notes from 'Circle Of Life'…
If Disney’s initial announcement had you outraged, the array on talent on board for this CGI Lion King is certainly enough to assuage any worries for now. And between now and summer 2019, there are plenty more reboots to keep us occupied: a Tim Burton-directed Dumbo, a live action Aladdin and Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins Returns, to name but a few
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