The upcoming live-action remake of The Lion King is almost here, and Disney has released the first featurette showcasing the voice acting and singing talents of the cast. The hype is real, guys.
In the new featurette, you can watch the star-studded cast’s voice recording sessions while director Jon Favreau and some of the cast members explained how different the adaptation will be from the beloved original film. Also featuring a short preview of the film’s new version of Hakuna Matata.
Lions rule the African savanna in The Lion King, which welcomes Donald Glover as future-king Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Simba’s friend-turned-love interest Nala, and James Earl Jones as Simba’s wise and loving father, Mufasa, reprising his iconic performance from Disney’s 1994 animated classic.
Chiwetel Ejiofor was called on to portray Simba’s villainous uncle Scar, and Alfre Woodard portrays Simba’s no-nonsense mother, Sarabi. JD McCrary fills the shoes of Young Simba, a confident cub who can’t wait to be king, and Shahadi Wright Joseph brings tough cub Young Nala to life.
Every kingdom comes with a trustworthy advisor or two. John Kani was cast as the wise baboon Rafiki, and John Oliver was tapped as hornbill Zazu, Mufasa’s loyal confidant. When Simba goes into exile, he relies on two newfound friends — Seth Rogen lends his comedic chops to naïve warthog Pumbaa, and Billy Eichner joins the cast as know-it-all meerkat, Timon.
While most of the animals in the kingdom respect the king, the hyenas have other plans. Florence Kasumba portrays Shenzi, Eric André is Azizi, and Keegan-Michael Key plays Kamari.
Directed by Jon Favreau, Disney’s The Lion King opens in theatres July 19.