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The Lion King (2019 film)

The Lion King is an upcoming American musical drama film directed by Jon Favreau, produced by Walt Disney Pictures, and written by Jeff Nathanson. It is a live-action styled adaptation of Disney's 1994 animated film of the same name. The film stars the voices of Donald Glover, Beyoncé, James Earl Jones (who reprises his role from the original film), Chiwetel Ejiofor, Billy Eichner, Seth Rogen, John Kani, John Oliver, and Alfre Woodard.

The Lion King
Disney The Lion King 2019.jpg
Official teaser logo
Directed by Jon Favreau
Produced by
  • Jon Favreau
  • Karen Gilchrist
  • Jeffrey Silver
Screenplay by Jeff Nathanson
Story by Brenda Chapman
Based on Disney's The Lion King
by Irene Mecchi
Jonathan Roberts
Linda Woolverton
Music by Hans Zimmer
Cinematography Caleb Deschanel
Edited by Mark Livolsi
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • July 19, 2019 (2019-07-19)
Country United States
Language English

Plans for a Lion King remake were confirmed in September 2016 following the success of Favreau's Jungle Book adaptation. Much of the main cast signed on in early-2017 and principal photography began that summer on a blue screen stage in Los Angeles. The film is scheduled to be released on July 19, 2019.


Voice cast



On September 28, 2016, Walt Disney Pictures confirmed that Jon Favreau would be directing a fast-tracked remake of the 1994 animated film The Lion King, which would feature the songs from the 1994 film, following a string of recent box office successes on the other Disney remake films such as Maleficent, Cinderella, Favreau's The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast with the latter three also earning critical praise.[1] Later on October 13, it was reported that Disney had hired Jeff Nathanson to write the screenplay for the remake.[2] In November, talking with, Favreau said the virtual cinematography technology he used in The Jungle Book would be used to a greater degree in The Lion King.[3] Although the media reported The Lion King to be a live-action film, it actually utilizes photorealistic animation. Disney also did not describe it as live-action, only stating it would follow the "technologically groundbreaking" approach of The Jungle Book.[4]


In mid-February 2017, Donald Glover was cast as Simba, with James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa from the 1994 film.[5]

In April, Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen were cast to play Timon and Pumbaa respectively.[6] In July, John Oliver was cast as Zazu.[7] In August, Alfre Woodard and John Kani were announced to play Sarabi and Rafiki, respectively.[8][9]

Earlier in March, it was announced that Beyoncé was Favreau's top choice for the role of Nala and that the director and studio would be willing to do whatever it took to accommodate her busy schedule.[10] Later on November 1, her role was confirmed in an official announcement,[11][12] which also confirmed that Chiwetel Ejiofor would play the role of Scar as he had impressed Favreau after watching his antagonistic performance as Baron Mordo in Doctor Strange (2016). Other stars Eric Andre, Florence Kasumba, Keegan-Michael Key will be the voices of Azizi, Shenzi and Kamari while JD McCrary and Shahadi Wright Joseph will be the voices of young Simba and young Nala, respectively.[13][14][15][16]


Production on the film commenced in the summer of 2017,[17] on a blue screen stage in Los Angeles, California.[18]


On November 1, 2017, it was announced that Hans Zimmer would return to score the film, having previously scored the 1994 animated version.[19] On November 28, 2017, it was reported that Elton John had signed onto the project to rework his musical compositions from the original film before his retirement.[20] The following day it was reported that Beyoncé would be assisting John in the reworking of the soundtrack.[21] On February 9, 2018, John reported that he, Tim Rice and Beyoncé would create a new song for the end credits of the film.[22] Later that month, it was revealed that four songs from the original film would be included in the film: "Can You Feel the Love Tonight", "Hakuna Matata", "I Just Can't Wait to Be King", and "Circle of Life".[23]


The Lion King is scheduled to be released on July 19, 2019, which marks the 25th anniversary of the release of the original film.[24]

The Lion King will be one of the first films to be released on Disney's planned streaming service alongside Toy Story 4, and Frozen 2.[25]


  1. ^ "Disney and Jon Favreau Joining Forces on "The Lion King"". The Walt Disney Company. September 28, 2016. Retrieved September 28, 2016.
  2. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (October 13, 2016). "Disney's Live-Action 'Lion King' Taps Jeff Nathanson As Writer". Deadline. Retrieved October 16, 2016.
  3. ^ Busch, Jenna (November 30, 2016). "Live-Action Lion King Movie to Use VR Tech". Retrieved December 1, 2016.
  4. ^ Amidi, Amid (September 28, 2016). "Get It Right: Disney Is Doing An Animated—Not Live-Action—Remake of 'The Lion King'". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  5. ^ Gonzalez, Sandra (February 18, 2017). "Donald Glover, James Earl Jones cast in Disney's live-action "Lion King"". CNN.
  6. ^ "Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner to Play Pumbaa and Timon in 'Lion King' (Exclusive)". TheWrap. April 25, 2017. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  7. ^ Donnelly, Matt (July 10, 2017). "John Oliver Joins Disney's Live-Action "The Lion King"". TheWrap. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  8. ^ Galuppo, Mia (August 7, 2017). "Alfre Woodard Joins Disney's 'The Lion King' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  9. ^ Gonzalez, Umberto; Verhoeven, Beatrice (August 7, 2017). "'Lion King' Rafiki Casting: John Kani, 'Civil War' Star, to Play Wise Baboon (Exclusive)". TheWrap. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  10. ^ "Beyoncé Top Choice to Voice Nala in 'Lion King' Remake (Exclusive)". Variety. March 30, 2017. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  11. ^ Verhoeven, Beatrice (November 1, 2017). "Beyonce Will Voice Nala in Live-Action Adaptation of 'The Lion King'". TheWrap. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  12. ^ Pallotta, Frank (November 2, 2017). "Beyoncé joins cast of Disney's live-action 'Lion King'". Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  13. ^ "Chiwetel Ejiofor Will Voice Scar in The Lion King". Retrieved 2017-08-07.
  14. ^ Smith, Reiss (November 2, 2017). "The Lion King: 2019 release date, cast including Beyoncé, plot synopsis and more". Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  15. ^ "'Lion King's' Young Simba Actor Signs With ICM Partners (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. November 2, 2017. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  16. ^ "Shahadi Wright Joseph as Young Nala". New York Daily News. November 2, 2017. Retrieved November 4, 2017.
  17. ^ Lammers, Timothy (March 18, 2017). "Disney's Live-Action The Lion King Starts Production This Summer". Screen Rant. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  18. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (July 15, 2017). "'Lion King': Disney Unveils Jaw-Dropping First Footage Of Jon Favreau's Remake at D23". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 15, 2017.
  19. ^ Hood, Cooper (1 November 2017). "Hans Zimmer Set to Score Disney's Live-Action The Lion King". Screen Rant. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  20. ^ "Elton John will make millions with live-action remake of The Lion King". New York Daily News. November 28, 2017. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  21. ^ "Beyoncé and Elton John are reportedly working on new versions of The Lion King songs". NME. November 29, 2017. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  22. ^ "Sir Elton John confirms new Tim Rice collaboration for Disney's The Lion King remake". Digital Spy. February 10, 2018. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  23. ^ Cabin, Chris (February 18, 2018). "The Lion King: Live-Action Remake Will Only Use Four Songs from the Original's Soundtrack". Collider. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  24. ^ Lesnick, Silas (April 25, 2017). "Disney Movie Release Schedule Gets a Major Update". Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  25. ^ Whitbrook, James (August 8, 2017). "Disney Is Planning to Pull All of Its Movies from Netflix and Start Its Own Streaming Service [Updated]". IO9. Retrieved August 16, 2018.

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