Disney made the casting list official with this tweet. #TheLionKing. 2019,” they wrote, along with a lion and crown emoji.
Fans were quick to praise Disney’s casting, which also features Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino as Simba, and they’re seriously excited for him and Bey to duet on a new version of “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?” “Can’t stop thinking about it,” one fan tweeted.
John Kani is playing Simba’s eccentric spiritual guide Rafiki, while James Earl Jones, who played Simba’s dad Mufasa in the original 1994 animated film, is reprising his role as the king of the wild.
Alfre Woodward will play Mufasa’s wife and Simba’s mom Sarabi.
Oscar-nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor will play Mufasa’s jealous brother Scar.
Last Week Tonight host John Oliver has been cast as Mufasa’s uptight pal, Zazu. John tweeted, “Beyoncé and I have an announcement to make…” when the casting news was announced.
Rounding out the cast is Erica Andre, Florence Kasumba, and Keegan-Michael Key as Scar’s hyena minions Azizi, Shenzi, and Kamari. JD McCrady and Shahadi Wright Joseph will play the young Simba and Nala.
Jon Favreau, who recently directed Disney’s live action remake of The Jungle Book, will direct the film, set for release in 2019. “It is a director's dream to assemble a talented team like this to bring this classic story to life,” he said in a statement.
What do you think of The Lion King cast? Sound off in the comments below!