Disney’s latest live-action MWTPTBG (mess with the potential to be good), The Lion King, is coming together and yesterday, Disney tweeted a picture of the confirmed cast. For a company like Disney, that is a very low-budget community theater-looking cast sheet. Not to mention how confusing it must have been when the real star Beyonce saw it. “Can someone explain why both my picture and name are the same size as everyone else? Oh wait, is this like a Destiny’s Child thing, where I pretend I’m part of a group? Ok, gotcha (wink).”
So, we already knew Donald Glover is voicing Simba, and that Disney decided to go with the Original Recipe voice of Mufasa, James Earl Jones. Now we know that rumor about Beyonce belting out “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” as Simba’s lion girlfriend Nala is true. Joining Bey and Donald and James Earl Jones are Chiwetel Ejiofor as Simba’s diabolical uncle Scar, Alfre Woodard as Simba’s mom Sarabi, John Oliver as that annoying bird.
Rounding out the rest of the cast is John Kani as Rafiki, and Eric Andre, Florence Kasumba, and Keegan-Michael Key look like they’re playing Scar’s minions (oh god, not those kind of minions). Simba’s adopted dads Timon and Pumbaa will be voiced by Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen, a casting choice which was clearly made after someone asked if it was possible to make Timon an even more high-strung contrast to that dopey jungle pig.
Young Simba and Nala will be voiced by JD McCrary and Shahadi Wright Joseph. Normally this is where I would make a joke about Beyonce getting Jon Favreau to hire her twins for the roles of little Simba and Nala, but that’s crazy. Beyonce would never do that. Sir and Rumi Carter speak a language of pure energy and light that’s just too advanced for us mortals to catch on tape in a recording booth.