Live-action remake of 'The Lion King' brings on Donald Glover and James Earl Jones

lion king remake cast donald glover james earl jones iconic
The circle of life — or in this case, Hollywood — has come back around again to The Lion King, Disney’s 1994 animated feature that’s getting a live-action remake helmed by The Jungle Book director Jon Favreau. The filmmaker recently revealed the first two actors joining the film’s cast, and much like the voice cast for The Jungle Book, the studio is looking to some familiar faces (and voices) to bring the story to life.

Community and Atlanta actor Donald Glover will voice the young lion Simba in the film, with Star Wars franchise actor James Earl Jones reprising his role from the original 1994 film as the voice of Simba’s father, Mufasa.

Favreau made the casting announcements on Twitter, posting a pair of photos featuring the actors and indicating which characters they’ll be playing in the film.

Directed by Favreau from a script penned by Catch Me If You Can and Tower Heist screenwriter Jeff Nathanson, The Lion King continues the studio’s push to turn its classic animated movies into live-action movies. The strategy has proven successful so far, with 2010’s Alice in Wonderland earning more than $1 billion worldwide, 2015’s Cinderella generating $543 million, and the aforementioned The Jungle Book topping out at just over $966 million.

The live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast arrives in theaters March 17 and stars Emma Watson, Luke Evans, and Dan Stevens.

The 1994 animated version of The Lion King cast Matthew Broderick as the voice of Simba, and earned more than $968 million during its 26-week run in theaters, making it one of the highest-grossing animated features of all time. It also received four Academy Award nominations, with three of the songs from the film nominated in the “Best Original Song” category and Hans Zimmer’s score for the film also nominated. The film won Academy Awards for Elton John and Tim Rice’s song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and also took home the award for Zimmer’s score.

There’s currently no release date set for The Lion King, but Glover will likely begin working on the project after he finishes filming on the upcoming, still-untitled Star Wars spinoff movie focusing on Han Solo. Glover portrays a young Lando Calrissian in the film, taking on the role previous played by Billy Dee Williams in 1980’s Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back.

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