One of the notable challenges facing the new live-action adaptation of The Lion King is simply building a cast that can compete with the voices from the 1994 original. Hell, they already had to give up finding a replacement and have James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa. That being said, the production just found two absolutely perfect actors to play Timon and Pumbaa in the Jon Favreau movie, as it's being reported the roles will go to Bill Eichner and Seth Rogen, respectively.
The Wrap has the news that Eichner and Rogen are both now in final negotiations to join the cast of The Lion King, which has spent the last few weeks starting to establish an all-star ensemble. In taking the roles, the two actors are stepping in the footsteps of Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella, who are truly beloved particularly because of their rendition of the song "Hakuna Matata." Should they both sign on the dotted line, the two stars will be joining a cast that not only includes James Earl Jones, but also Donald Glover as the voice of Simba.
In the world of voice, Seth Rogen is hardly a novice, as Hollywood started casting him in animated projects really since his big breakout in The 40 Year Old Virgin. It started with a small part in Shrek The Third, but since then he has done characters in the Kung Fu Panda movies, Horton Hears A Who!, Monsters vs. Aliens, Sausage Party, and more. Funny enough, it will also be a reunion for Rogen and Jon Favreau, as the latter directed an episode of the former's television show, Undeclared, back in 2002.
As for Billy Eichner, his resume as a voice actor on the big screen isn't as long - but he does have a few notable titles on his resume in the performance medium. In addition to having a small part in 2014's animated spin-off Penguins of Madagascar and two characters in The Angry Birds Movie, he has a regular role as the librarian Mr. Ambrose in the series Bob's Burgers on Fox. Part of what makes him a nice addition to The Lion King is that he's actually worked with Seth Rogen in the past, as he has a supporting role in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising.
In case you don't remember, Timon and Pumbaa enter the Lion King story after Simba's father is killed and he is run out of town by his uncle, Scar. It's out in the wilderness that Simba meets the meerkat and warthog, and they effectively raise him from a young cub into a full grown lion - all the while teaching him to live a life without worry. Because of the humor they bring to the story, Timon and Pumbaa are arguably the most beloved characters in the story, and audiences around the world will be anticipating Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner's rendition of Hakuna Matata:
As we learned earlier today, The Lion King is set to be released on July 19, 2019 - which means production will very likely start up before the end of the year (it's a project that is going to require a great deal of post-production work). We'll keep you posted with more updates about the film in the coming weeks and months, but for now, what do you think of the Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen casting choices? Hit the comments section below with your thoughts.
NJ native who calls LA home; lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran; endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.
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