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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

We’ve had a lot of pretty solid rumors and announcements surrounding The Lion King, but today, Disney took to many different accounts (including Beyoncé Knowles-Carters’ own Facebook page) to tout the all-star cast attached to Jon Favreau’s upcoming blockbuster remake.

Check out the official press release below:

Lions rule the African savanna in The Lion King, which welcomes 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, and 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, and 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, and 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.


The Lion King is set to be a CG remake in the vein of what we saw with last year’s The Jungle Book, except this time around, there will be no humans to take us out of the world. So for all intents and purposes, this is an animated remake, despite the live-action aesthetic. Between that and the amazing cast they have lined up, we certainly can’t wait to see what this film has to offer.

What do you think of this new cast? Let us know down below!

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SOURCE: Disney

  • Victor Roa

    meh, good cast. I’d be first to complain being involved in animation and also have been actively avoiding this new CG shenanigans that Disney has been making. Still the weakest moment in Lion King is adult simba’s hero’s journey when in reality everyone loves child Simbas flaws as “I can’t wait to be king.” And Donald Glover is an amazing talent can add more to adult Simba than just looking outward into the sky.

  • Wild Dreams

    Good cast but I never saw the point in this remake since the original is animated as well….glad to see James Earl Jones back as mufasa for sure though, can’t imagine anyone else doing that voice.

  • Brafdorf

    Who the f is Azizi and Kamari

    • TheOct8pus

      Maybe Hyenas?

  • vnomenon

    what’s wrong with the original? And hollywood nowadays can’t come with new original idea, now?

  • 2 Left Thumbs

    This movie is being projected at a guaranteed $1b + movie, likely closer to $1.5b+.

    I just don’t see the point in seeing this. Yes, this is an outstanding cast. But do we really need an animated remake of one of the best animated movies of all time?? There is now draw here for me.

    I “get” the other remakes. I haven’t seen any of them other Cinderella, but I at least get why they exist. (Other than money) There is some opportunity there to change things up and try something new. But The Lion King is the first time they’ve taken on a movie without a single human character. So it’ll just be 100% cgi? That’s so stupid.

    As much as I love Donald Glover, this is a hard pass from me.

  • TheOct8pus

    Eric Andre….awesome.

  • Nay sayer!

    My only complaint is why didn’t Rowan Atkinson get cast as Zazu?

Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.