Whenever Disney decides to revisit one of its previous successes, it runs a huge risk. Will audiences connect with the new film the way they did with the old one? Could they even hope to capture a fraction of what they did in that original take? That was the case with this year’s Beauty and the Beast, and while it wasn’t a perfect film, it seems like the House of Mouse is doing a pretty solid job adapting their films for a modern audience. One of the many big films that is on the horizon is Jon Favreau’s The Lion King.
The film already has two characters officially cast. Taking on Simba is Lando Calrissian himself Donald Glover, and returning to play Mufasa is the man himself, James Earl Jones. There are, however, still a ton of iconic actors needing to be cast, many of whom have big shoes to fill (I’m looking at you, Scar). However, thanks to a new report from TheWrap, we can now knock two of those characters off the list.
According to the outlet, filling in for the roles of Timon and Pumbaa are Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen. Eichner is perhaps best known for his role as the hotheaded Craig in Parks and Recreation, and of course, we know Seth Rogen from a whole host of films like Neighbors, This is the End, and Sausage Party.
Based on the work we know of from these two actors, they seem like a good enough as anybody, though we’d be lying if we didn’t say we were a little bit nervous. Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella really made that role theirs back in the ‘90s, and that’s not even taking into consideration the song “Hakuna Matata,” which pretty much everybody knows right now.
It’s unclear if this is one of the songs that will be utilized in the film, but if the pair will have to sing the song, they will be facing scrutiny of Beauty and the Beast-like proportions.
At least we know that Jon Favreau is taking this job seriously, as indicated in a recent interview with Polygon:
“The Jungle Book was 50 years ago, but The Lion King was only 20. It came out in the age of video where people were watching it over and over again. So I have to prioritize that when I’m directing. I have to try and honor what was there. In some ways it's like bringing a Broadway play back because there are certain expectations.”
If The Jungle Book is any indication of what we can expect, we think The Lion King is in good hands.
The Lion King hits theaters on July 19, 2019.