The Lion King is one of the most anticipated live-action remakes from Disney's classic catalog; it will follow in the footsteps of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Alice in Wonderland, and Maleficent. Jon Favreau, who also directed the reboot of The Jungle Book, will use CGI and green screen to bring the 1994 animated movie to life.
The Lion King is slated for release on July 19, 2019. And although that's quite a way off, we at least have the casting announcements to be excited about. Here, every part that has been cast so far.
Donald Glover as Simba
Favreau tapped actor and rapper Donald Glover for the role of Simba, who was voiced by Matthew Broderick in the original film.
Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala
Looks like Jon Favreau got his wish. The director told Variety that Queen Bey was his first pick for Nala—which is only as it should be for the partner of a lion king.
James Earl Jones as Mufasa
In one of the only casting choices so far that carries over from the original, James Earl Jones will reprise his role of Mufasa.
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar
It goes against the grain to imagine Love Actually's sweet Peter as Simba's villainous uncle, but Ejiofor recently played a complex villain in Doctor Strange, so he definitely has the range.
Alfre Woodard as Sarabi
Simba's wise and beloved mother Sarabi will be played by Alfre Woodard, who has dipped her toe into fare for younger audiences in A Series of Unfortunate Events.
John Oliver as Zazu
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney cast Last Week Tonight host John Oliver as Zazu, the red-billed hornbill who advises King Mufasa and, later on, his son Simba. Rowan Atkinson voiced the character in the original.
Billy Eichner as Timon
Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen have been cast as Timon and Pumbaa, respectively.
Seth Rogen as Pumbaa
John Kani as Rafiki
2019 feels very far away, but we'll get to see South African actor, director, and playwright John Kani in Black Panther before the far-off Lion King arrives.
Eric André as Azizi
Comedian Eric André, who popped up as a sensitive bro in Rough Night, will play Azizi. There aren't any characters with this name in the original animated Lion King, but it's likely to be one of Scar's hyena minions.
Florence Kasumba as Shenzi
German actress Florence Kasumba played a senator in 2017 hit Wonder Woman, and she'll take a very different role here as one of Scar's hyena lackeys.
Keegan-Michael Key as Kamari
The Key and Peele frontman takes on the role of Kamari, likely completing the trio Scar's hyena followers.
JD McCrary as Young Simba and Shahadi Wright Joseph as Young Nala
JD McCrary (who has, funnily enough, graced co-star Eric André's titular variety show) and Shahadi Wright Joseph, an alum of Hairspray Live!, will play the young versions of the central characters.