Thanks to the popularity of the recent versions of Cinderella, The Jungle Book and more, Disney is in the midst of giving many of its classic animated movies live action remakes. In most cases, the live action is literal, but for The Lion King, it will be be using CGI technology to look like it's taking place in the real word, just like what The Jungle Book did for its animals and environments. That means just like with the original 1994 animated Lion King, the re-telling will have a powerhouse voice cast, and it was announced today that Donald Glover will voice Simba.
Director Jon Favreau made the announcement on Twitter earlier today, posting Donald Glover's photo along with a lyric from one of The Lion King's most popular songs. This makes Glover the first actor to be officially unveiled for the "live action" Lion King, and he'll be succeeding Matthew Broderick as the adult Simba. Since Favreau and his crew have already begun work on the project, it's likely that more actors will be announced for the cast in the near future.
The Lion King is the latest project to boost Donald Glover's stardom even higher. TV viewers know him best as Troy Barnes on Community and as Earnest "Earn" Marks on the currently-running Atlanta, but he's been slowly building a solid movie career, appearing in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, Magic Mike XXL and The Martian. Besides The Lion King, his upcoming appearances include Spider-Man: Homecoming and the Han Solo movie, the latter of which he'll play a younger Lando Calrissian. Being in The Lion King, though, will be his first movie voice role, as well as another opportunity for younger viewers to become acquainted with him. He's also made a name for himself as a rapper, where he goes by Childish Gambino.
While this casting news is most welcome, there's still plenty about The Lion King remake that remains to be revealed. If Disney's recent remakes are any indication, it will be be faithful to its animated predecessor, but there will be a few changes sprinkled in to make it something unique. It has been confirmed that songs from the original movie will be featured, but like the upcoming Beauty and the Beast, perhaps they'll throw in some new tunes as well. Besides Jon Favreau in the director's chair, the remake is being written by Jeff Nathanson, who also penned Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
The Lion King remake is reportedly being fast-tracked, so expect to see it sooner rather than later. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on the movie as they come in.
That's not the only Lion King casting news that broke today. Mufasa has also been cast.