Be prepared! A live action remake of Disney’s The Lion King is coming to a cinema near you in 2019. Get ready for CGI lion fights, digitally enhanced musical numbers, and for the female lead, Nala, to be voiced by the one and only queen of the modern world – Beyoncé!
Disney has been knocking it out of the park with live action remakes of its animated fairytales. The house of mouse first kicked off this winning streak back in 2010 with Alice in Wonderland, which soared worldwide to earn Disney over $1 billion at the box office. Since then, Disney has produced live-action remakes of Cinderella, The Jungle Book, Sleeping Beauty (Maleficent), Pete’s Dragon, and Beauty and the Beast. Disney has found yet another money-making formula and an easy one at that. Why would Disney bother with the stress and time of creating original stories when it can just retell the tales the public already know and love…but in live action!? It was inevitable that The Lion King, Disney’s most profitable animated movie before the debut of Frozen, would receive the live action treatment.
This new adaptation has been slated for July 19th, 2019 which means Disney is confidently looking to have itself a summer hit for that year. Attached to direct is Jon Favreau, who is fresh off the heals from creating a critically and commercially well-received live-action remake for Disney (The Jungle Book). Favreau is also known for his success with the first two Iron Man movies and Elf.
In terms of talent, Disney chose to cast ethnically appropriate actors to voice the beloved Safari characters. Early last week, it was announced that Beyoncé had officially joined the cast. Disney had reportedly been courting the singer for months to take on the role of Nala. There’s no doubt that a new original song will be provided for the singer to belt out in this adaptation. She joins a high caliber cast that is led by Donald Glover, who was announced to voice the role of Simba back in February, and James Earl Jones, who is reprising his role of Mufasa in the original 1994 film. The rest of the star-studded cast includes Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, John Oliver as Zazu, John Kani as Rafiki, Billy Eichner as Timon, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, Eric André as Azizi, Florence Kasumba as Shenzi, and Keegan Michael Key as Kamari. The film also welcomes newcomers JD McCrary and Shahadi Wright as young Simba and Nala.
Disney just made 2019 a whole lot more exciting!