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Starting with Rafiki, The Wrap is reporting that John Kani, who played Black Panther's father King T'Chaka in Captain America: Civil War, will voice the baboon in this live-action version of The Lion King. Robert Guillaume voice the character in the original and is one of the most important supporting characters in the story. Rafiki is probably most remembered for his iconic moment holding up Simba to the crowd at Pride Rock in the beginning of the movie, a sequence that we know will be retold faithfully in this version of The Lion King thanks to some footage that was shown at Disney's D23 Expo.
Next up, The Hollywood Reporter says that Oscar-nominee Alfre Woodard has been cast as Sarabi in The Lion King remake. In Captain America: Civil War, she played the mother that confronted Tony Stark about her son that was killed during the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron. The role of Sarabi was originally voiced by Madge Sinclair. Sarabi did not have an overly large role in the original movie, but as Simba's mom, the role is a very important one. In any case, a very talented and respected actress is playing the part this time around.
Thanks again to Charlie!
The Wrap and THR both report that Ejiofor is in talks to lend his voice to a cast that already includes Donald Glover as Simba, James Earl Jones reprising his thunderous baritone as Mufasa, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver as the mouthy bird advisor Zazu, and Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen as Simba’s newfound friends and comedic relief characters Timon and Pumbaa. (There were rumors that Favreau wanted Beyonce to voice the female lead, Nala, but that hasn’t panned out…yet.)
Jeremy Irons (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) did an excellent job providing the voice of the sinister villain in the 1994 animated classic, delivering vocal work that practically dripped with disgust and lent the Shakespearean gravitas appropriate for a story which is essentially a retelling of Hamlet. Ejiofor, who played a subdued but ferocious villain in Joss Whedon’s Serenity (the film continuation of his ill-fated TV sci-fi western Firefly), seems like a solid casting choice to be a new version of Scar.
He'll have his work cut out for him, but this film is shaping up to sound pretty good if nothing else!
Thanks to Charlie for the tip!
Seems like it could work!
This may have been covered elsewhere already, but Hugh Jackman is on the roll as Scar:
I've also heard Beyoncé might be tapped for Nala; but that might just be a rumor for now...
Jon Favreau, director of "The Lion King," brought with him a piece of footage that elicited the most nostalgic feelings among the audience.
The footage show from the live-action "The Lion King" was a shot-by-shot remake of the opening scene from the animated film, complete with "The Circle of Life" blaring in the background and a first look at CGI Simba.
Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn told the crowd the live-action version would be "respectful and faithful to the lion king you already know and love."
A "shot-for-shot remake" sounds pretty good, but one still has to ask "why even do this?" I suppose we'll find out if/when the preview makes it to the public...
Donald Glover is on board to voice Simba, while James Earl Jones will reprise his role of Mufasa that he voiced in the original. Beyonce is still circling the role of Nala.
In the original, Timon and Pumbaa were the lovable meerkat and warthog who look after Simba after he flees his kingdom.
Jon Favreau is directing with Jeff Nathanson writing. The film is being fast-tracked, with the studio recently dating it for July 19, 2019.
These live-action remakes are apparently big hits for Disney, and TLK is a no-brainer following the success of The Jungle Book. It's great to hear they've got James Earl Jones back, and these new additions seem like pretty inspired choices.
Donald Glover is going to be the mane event in Disney's live-action version of "The Lion King." And he'll be joined by an actor whose voice is as legendary as they come.
Glover has been cast as Simba in the studio's new take on the 1994 animated classic.
James Earl Jones has also come aboard the project. He will play Mufasa, reprising the role he previously voiced.
Matthew Broderick and Jonathan Taylor Thomas shared the role of Simba in the animated film, voicing the older and younger versions of the character, respectively.
Director Jon Favreau broke the news on Twitter.
He tweeted a picture of Glover with a caption referencing "Lion King" tune, "I Just Can't Wait to Be King."
No word yet on any other returning voices, or on what (if any) structural changes might be in play for the new movie that might affect casting. But this is the biggest news on the net for Glover right now—looks like his big acting break is upon him!
The official statement by Disney is sparse on details, and describes the new movie only as "a new reimagining" of the original. Favreau's recent successes have been in the area of live-action remakes of animated classics such as The Jungle Book (which has been a critical and box-office success since its release); this has led many to interpret the announcement as meaning that the new Lion King will be similarly live-action in nature. But that's just speculation, and it could be entirely without merit. It might just as easily be as fully traditionally animated as the original for all we know. But Disney does say the new movie "follows" the "technologically groundbreaking" Jungle Book, so speculation that this will be another in the same vein isn't likely to be off-base.
What we do know is that the new movie is supposed to include songs from the original movie, so it probably won't stray too far from the source material. We don't know anything else yet, including voice cast, creative staff, or release date. But all that is sure to come.
Time to breathe some life back into this franchise, it seems!
The new 2-disc album contains all the movie's songs, naturally, but also mixes in some 30 minutes of never-before-officially-released instrumental score material, with track titles such as "I Was Just Trying to Be Brave Score" and "We Are All Connected Score". Many of these score tracks also feature "demo" alternative versions on the second disc, which are discussed in the new liner notes by producer Don Hahn and composer Hans Zimmer. There are also song tracks such as "The Morning Report" and "Warthog Rhapsody", which were not part of the original theatrical release—being added to the Special Edition in the former case, and cut from the final version in the latter.
Enthusiasts of the movie's soundtrack will no doubt be all over this release, which retails at Amazon.com for around $15.
Updated: Kion is said to be the second-born child of Simba, and so the series is canon with the existing movies. Kiara will play a role in the TV series, which will debut with a direct-to-video movie, according to Disney's own blog.
The series will be about Kion, the son of the now-grown “Lion King” protagonist Simba, who assembles a group of animals to help him protect the jungle prideland as part of a group called the Lion Guard.
“It’s kind of like ‘The Lion King’ meets ‘The Avengers,’” said Disney Junior general manager Nancy Kanter.
Full article and some nice developmental art here (though it remains to be seen how well the art will translate to production).
Next November is a long way off, so we can expect a long period of information trickling in on what kind of expansions to the canon cast and universe we can expect to see.
Also, in advance of this, on September 16, the new 3D version will begin a theatrical run. This will be the first time TLK has been seen in general theatrical release since the IMAX version began its circulation in 2002.
BURBANK, Calif. (May 26, 2011) — Simba, Mufasa, Nala, Timon and Pumbaa are back and better than ever this fall when Disney’s “The Lion King” roars into theaters and homes in breathtaking 3D. A special two-week theatrical extravaganza kicks off Sept. 16, 2011, showcasing the Oscar®- and Golden Globe®-winning film on the big screen in Disney Digital 3D™ for the first time ever, and its highly anticipated home entertainment debut kicks off October 4, celebrating the Diamond Edition release of the epic movie “The Lion King” in high-definition Blu-ray™ and Blu-ray 3D™.
Get the full press release at Christian's Cartoon Corner.