As a great King once said, "Everything you see exists together in a delicate balance," and that's also true of Disney and their never-ending circle of upcoming remakes. From Cinderella and The Jungle Book to Beauty and the Beast, classic movies from the House of Mouse are all being reimagined in eye-popping live-action, quite literally bringing your childhood favorites to life.
Of course, some fans remain worried that their beloved movies will be trampled on like a lion caught in a wildebeest stampede. Luckily, the exceptional cast that director Jon Favreau has gathered for The Lion King remake should leave audiences with no worries. In fact, a shiny new era is tip-toeing nearer, so it's with great pride that we here at Movie Pilot will introduce to you every cast member confirmed to star in The Lion King live-action film.
Simba — Donald Glover
Following his roles in Spider-Man: Homecoming and the solo Han... Solo movie, enemies should beware now that Donald Glover will become the mighty king Simba in the upcoming remake. The actor/rapper will replace Jonathan Taylor Thomas who originally voiced the titular Lion King in the original animation from 1994.
Mufasa — James Earl Jones
For the most part, Favreau has decided to recast the voice actors who first brought the characters from The Lion King to life in the original movie. However, some were clearly just too purrfect not to bring back, which is why James Earl Jones will reprise the role of Mufasa, Simba's father. If this is where the monarchy is headed, then count me in!
Sarabi — Alfre Woodard
Behind every great lion, there's a great lioness, so it's fitting that the award-winning actress Alfre Woodard will lend her voice to Sarabi, Mufasa's wife and Simba's mother. This won't be the first time that Woodard has played a strong female character, most recently stealing the show as Mariah Dillard in Season 1 of Luke Cage, but fans are undoubtedly excited to see her become a real queen of the pride in The Lion King.
Nala — Beyoncé (Rumored)
Beyoncé has proved time and time again that she can both act and sing, giving us flawless performances in movies such as Cadillac Records and Dreamgirls. It's about time then that we let her run the world in an iconic Disney production such as this. Sure, Queen Bey hasn't been officially confirmed to voice Simba's love interest just yet, but rumors certainly suggest that Beyoncé may be involved in The Lion King remake and it's hard to deny that her voice is irreplaceable.
Scar — Chiwetel Ejiofor (Rumored)
For a while there, it looked as though Hugh Jackman may have traded in Wolverine's adamantium claws for smaller, yet no less vicious claws after rumors began to suggest that he would voice Scar in The Lion King remake. While that rumor proved itself to be emptier than the watering hole after Pumbaa's let off a big one, there's now talk that Chiwetel Ejiofor could tackle the villainous role instead. Of course, we should also be prepared for the fact that Jeremy Irons could still return instead, baring both his teeth and ambitions in the The Lion King remake. Whatever happens though, fans of Scar can currently check out the evil lion's return in the animated series The Lion Guard.
Timon — Billy Eichner
American comedian and actor Billy Eichner has packed a lot into his own career already, writing and hosting his own TV shows in the past, but now he's ready to join an even more famous pack in The Lion King remake, starring as the meerkat Timon. Funnily enough, the American Horror Story star previously voiced an animated pig in The Angry Birds movie, but here he'll play the best friend of a warthog named Pumbaa.
Pumbaa — Seth Rogen
Joining Billy Eichner's Timon is Seth Rogen in the role of Pumbaa. Sure, he clears the savannah after every meal, but once the veteran comedian has made the role of Pumbaa his own, we're sure that his take on the beloved warthog won't just be a passing craze. What remains to be seen though is whether Timon and Pumbaa will adopt Simba as friends or whether fans will feel the love tonight in Jon Favreau's new interpretation of the duo.
Zazu — John Oliver
Simba thinks that kings don't need advice from little hornbills for a start, but it's almost impossible to imagine any version of The Lion King without Zazu butting his beak into matters. Taking over from Rowan Atkinson is another famous comedian, John Oliver, who hosts his own satirical talk show, Last Week Tonight. This won't be the first time that Oliver has lent his voice to animation though, as the star has also worked on shows such as Bob's Burgers, The Simpsons, and Gravity Falls.
Rafiki — John Kani
After playing the King of Wakanda in Captain America: Civil War, actor John Kani will return to Africa in The Lion King remake, voicing the royal advisor Rafiki. The baboon played a pivotal role in the original movie, helping Simba to embrace his destiny, so we're sure that Kani will learn from the past and continue the legacy left by voice actor Robert Guillaume in the first film.
While plot specifics remain unclear, it seems likely that director Jon Favreau may make some changes in his live-action adaptation, just like the filmmakers behind Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast did before him. Whatever happens though, we're sure that The Lion King remake will be the crowning jewel in Disney's live-action slate when the film roars into theaters on July 19, 2019.