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|
Official teaser logo
|Directed by||Jon Favreau|
|Screenplay by||Jeff Nathanson|
|Story by||Brenda Chapman|
Disney's The Lion King|
by Irene Mecchi
|Music by||Hans Zimmer|
|Edited by||Mark Livolsi|
Walt Disney Studios|
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.
- Donald Glover as Simba, the lion crown prince of the Pride Lands.
- JD McCrary as young Simba
- Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, Simba's best friend and future love-interest.
- Shahadi Wright Joseph as young Nala
- James Earl Jones as Mufasa, the king of Pride Rock and the father of Simba. Jones reprises his role from the original 1994 animated movie of the same name.
- Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, the treacherous brother of Mufasa and the uncle of Simba who seeks to take the mantle of king.
- Billy Eichner as Timon, a wise-cracking and loyal meerkat who befriends and adopts, Simba when he was a young runaway.
- Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, a naive common warthog who befriends and adopts, Simba when he was a young runaway.
- John Kani as Rafiki, a wise mandrill who serves as the shaman of the Pride Lands and a close friend of Mufasa's.
- John Oliver as Zazu, a hornbill who is Mufasa's advisor.
- Alfre Woodard as Sarabi, Mufasa's mate, the mother of Simba, and queen of the Pride Lands.
- Florence Kasumba as Shenzi, the lead hyena of the trio.
- Eric Andre as Azizi, a member of the hyenas.
- Keegan-Michael Key as Kamari, an unhinged hysterical hyena who laughs a lot.
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. Later on October 13, it was reported that Disney had hired Jeff Nathanson to write the screenplay for the remake. In November, talking with ComingSoon.net, Favreau said the virtual cinematography technology he used in The Jungle Book would be used to a greater degree in The Lion King. 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.
In April, Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen were cast to play Timon and Pumbaa respectively. In July, John Oliver was cast as Zazu. In August, Alfre Woodard and John Kani were announced to play Sarabi and Rafiki, respectively.
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. Later on November 1, her role was confirmed in an official announcement, 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.
On November 1, 2017, it was announced that Hans Zimmer would return to score the film, having previously scored the 1994 animated version. 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. The following day it was reported that Beyoncé would be assisting John in the reworking of the soundtrack. On February 9, 2018, John reported that he, Tim Rice and Beyoncé would create a new song for the end credits of the film. 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".
The Lion King is scheduled to be released on July 19, 2019, which marks the 25th anniversary of the release of the original film.
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