Jon Favreau‘s The Lion King is already being hailed as one of the most anticipated films of 2019. We saw a small snippet of the live-action take of the animated opening sequence at D23, which pretty much tells us that this will be a visually stunning film. But that was just the beginning.
One of the biggest rumors going around earlier on in the casting process was that Beyoncé Knowles-Carter was going to play Nala. Well, you can put that rumor to rest, as the actress and singer has been confirmed to play her. Along with confirming Beyoncé Disney has also confirmed the rest of the full cast, which can be found below.
Here’s the cast as confirmed on Disney’s official account:
But for those who cannot see the photo above, here’s the official cast:
Donald Glover (Atlanta, Solo: A Star Wars Story) as future king Simba; Beyoncé Knowles-Carter (Dreamgirls, Lemonade visual album) as Simba’s friend-turned-love interest Nala; James Earl Jones (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Field of Dreams) as Simba’s wise and loving father, Mufasa, reprising his iconic performance from Disney’s 1994 animated classic; Chiwetel Ejiofor (Twelve Years a Slave, Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange) was called on to portray Simba’s villainous uncle Scar; Alfre Woodard (Juanita, Marvel’s Luke Cage) portrays Simba’s no-nonsense mother, Sarabi; JD McCrary (OWN’s Tyler Perry’s The Paynes, Apple’s Vital Signs) fills the shoes of Young Simba, a confident cub who can’t wait to be king; and Shahadi Wright Joseph (NBC’s Hairspray Live, Broadway’s The Lion King) brings tough cub Young Nala to life.
Every kingdom comes with a trustworthy advisor or two. John Kani (Coriolanus, Marvel Studios’ Captain America: Civil War) was cast as the wise baboon Rafiki; John Oliver (HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) was tapped as hornbill Zazu, Mufasa’s loyal confidant. When Simba goes into exile, he relies on two newfound friends: Seth Rogen (Sausage Party, Neighbors) lends his comedic chops to naïve warthog Pumbaa, and Billy Eichner (Billy on the Street, FX’s American Horror Story) joins the cast as know-it-all meerkat Timon.
While most of the animals in the kingdom respect the king, the hyenas have other plans. Florence Kasumba (NBC’s Emerald City, Marvel Studios’ Black Panther) portrays Shenzi; Eric André (Adult Swim’s The Eric André Show, FXX’s Man Seeking Woman) is Azizi; and Keegan-Michael Key (Predator, Netflix’s Friends from College) plays Kamari.
Here’s the official plot synopsis:
From Disney Live Action, director Jon Favreau’s all-new “The Lion King” journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother—and former heir to the throne—has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his. The all-star cast includes Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Billy Eichner as Timon and Seth Rogen as Pumbaa. Utilizing pioneering filmmaking techniques to bring treasured characters to life in a whole new way, “The Lion King” roars into theaters on July 19, 2019.
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