Back in March, we reported that Beyoncé was first in line to voice Nala in Jon Favreau’s upcoming remake of The Lion King, and that Disney was willing to “whatever it takes to accommodate her schedule.” Well, now it’s official. Tonight, Disney announced Beyoncé’s casting along with the rest of the film’s cast.
So, yes, Beyoncé will play Nala, Simba’s childhood friend and eventual queen (how apropos), but there’s several other exciting names in the announcement as well. Along with the previously announced casting of Donald Glover as Simba, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, and John Oliver as Zazu, the film will feature Chiwetel Ejiofor as the nefarious Scar, Alfre Woodard as Simba’s mother Sarabi, and Eric Andre (!) and Keegan-Michael Key as two of hyenas. The announcement also confirms the rumored casting of Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen as Timon and Pumbaa, respectively. Also of note is the return of Hans Zimmer, who will be reprising his role as composer for the remake.
“It is a director’s dream to assemble a talented team like this to bring this classic story to life,” Favreau said in a press release. As we’ve written previously, Favreau’s film will work to recreate live-action using digital effects. He offered a peek of it at the D23 Expo this past summer and the response was very, very good.
The Lion King is slated for release on July 19th, 2019.