The Lion King (2019) is a CG-animated re-imagining of the 1994 Walt Disney animated classic of the same name, of which no remake could ever improve. Our grade for the original is A+
The Lion King remake once again features James Earl Jones as the voice of Mufasa. Additional A-list talent that lend their voices to the new film: Seth Rogen, Donald Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Billy Eichner, Keegan-Michael Key, Beyoncé, Alfre Woodard, and John Oliver.
The original 1994 animated film earned $422, 783, 777 at the U.S. movie box office. Accounting for inflation, that would be about $1 billion in today’s dollars.
THE LION KING (2019) CHEAT SHEET
Donald Glover: Plays Simba, the lion crown prince and protagonist of the film. The Atlanta creator and star has demonstrated his wide range of talents before, writing for television while also finding success as a hip-hop artist under the name Childish Gambino. With two Emmys and a Grammy under his belt, Glover will have no problem meeting the singing and acting demands of the film.
JD McCrary: Plays young Simba. Before joining the cast, the 10-year-old actor appeared on Disney Channel’s K.C. Undercover and Starz’s Blunt Talk. Earlier this year, McCrary joined Glover on stage at the 2018 Grammy Awards to perform “Terrified”.
Beyonce: Plays Nala, the fierce lioness and Simba’s childhood friend turned love interest. The Lion King marks the singer’s first feature film role since she voiced Queen Tara in Epic (2013). The 22-time Grammy winner received critical acclaim for her performance in 2006’s Dreamgirls, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe.
Shahadi Wright Joseph: Plays young Nala. Joseph performed as young Nala in the Broadway production of The Lion King at just 9 years old, becoming the youngest actress to play the role.
James Earl Jones: Plays Mufasa, Simba’s father and king of the Pride Lands. Jones, who voiced Mufasa in the original animated film, reprises the role after more than 20 years.
Chiwetel Ejiofor: Plays Scar, the villainous lion who seeks to usurp the throne from his brother, Mufasa. In addition to voicing the role, the 12 Years a Slave star recently confirmed involvement in another Disney film, Maleficent II.
Billy Eichner: Plays Timon, the meerkat who introduces young Simba to a carefree life of “Hakuna Matata.” The actor and comedian hosts Billy on the Street, for which he was nominated for an Emmy.
Seth Rogen: Plays Pumbaa, the warthog who befriends young Simba. Rogen previously lent his voice to the R-rated animated film Sausage Party, which he also wrote and produced.
John Kani: Plays Rafiki, the baboon who offers guidance to Simba throughout his journey. The South African actor’s recent credits include Marvel’s Black Panther and Captain America: Civil War.
John Oliver: Plays Zazu, Mufasa’s feathered confidant. The Last Week Tonight host has won multiple Emmys and a Peabody award.
Alfre Woodard: Plays Sarabi, Simba’s mother. Throughout her expansive career, Woodward has won four Emmys and a Golden Globe, as well as received nominations for a Grammy and an Academy Award.
Eric Andre: Plays Azizi, one of Scar’s hyena henchmen. The comedian currently hosts The Eric Andre Show on Adult Swim, which he created and writes.
Florence Kasumba: Plays Shenzi, another one of Scar’s hyena accomplices. The German-Ugandan actress previously played Ayo in 2017’s Black Panther.
Keegan-Michael Key: Plays Kamari, Scar’s third hyena henchman, reimagined for the live-action film. Key first received recognition as one half of the comedy duo Key & Peele with Get Out writer-director Jordan Peele. His most recent projects include Netflix’s Friends from College and Meteor Shower, in which he made his Broadway debut.
Amy Sedaris: Plays an elephant shrew, a brand new character to the animal kingdom.
“It is a director’s dream to assemble a talented team like this to bring this classic story to life,” Favreau said in a statement after the casting announcement in November.