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Lion King News

11/01/2017 - Hans Zimmer Returns

Not only has the full cast of the remake dropped today, we've also got word that Hans Zimmer will be back to do the score!

https://screenrant.com/disney-lion-king-hans-zimmer-composer/

Disney confirmed the Oscar-winning composer will be back in an official press release. Zimmer is responsible for several iconic and easy to pick out scores, so it is no surprise he is coming back for the live-action tale. Considering how well-known his original themes – like ‘This Land,’ ‘…To Die For,’ ‘Under the Stars,’ and ‘King of Pride Rock’ – are, it will be expected that they are featured again, along with presumably a few other new themes.

Zimmer’s score is one piece to The Lion King‘s renowned soundtrack, and rumor has it Beyoncé will do the soundtrack this time around. The combination of Beyoncé and Zimmer would be a formidable pairing and would all but guarantee The Lion King will sound incredible, along with having stunning visuals. Both parties should have creative freedom to add new moments for the live-action take, but the D23 footage also guarantees Favreau is looking to stick close to the original material when possible.

Considering that the TLK score was what got me interested in film soundtracks to begin with, this one is particularly, well, music to my ears.

11/01/2017 - Full TLK Live-Action Cast Revealed

The full cast for the new live-action remake has been revealed, and wow there are some pretty impressive names in the list.

http://www.slashfilm.com/full-the-lion-king-remake-cast/

Disney has officially revealed the the full The Lion King remake cast, finally confirming that Beyoncé Knowles-Carter will play Nala alongside Donald Glover‘s Simba. That duo is surrounded by a murderer’s row of talent, with names both obvious and surprising taking on this cast of beloved characters.

Look at this list of names: Donald Glover as Simba, Beyonce Knowles-Carter as Nala, James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa, Chietwel Ejiofor as Scar, Alfre Woodard as Sarabi, John Oliver as Zazu, John Kane as Rafiki, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, Billy Eichner as Timon, Eric Andre as Azizi, Florence Karumba as Shenzi, and Keegan-Michael Key as Kamari. Look, I’m as skeptical as anyone when it comes to a “live-action” remake of The Lion King, but all of those names in one cast list is more than enough get me interested.


This announcement comes with some tantalizing hints at changes to the story, what with named characters we've never heard of before—Azizi and Kamari—as well as a targeted release date of summer 2019.

Thanks to Charlie for the tip!

10/30/2017 - Robert Guillaume

Robert Guillaume might have been best known to the world as the star of TV shows such as "Soap", "Benson", and "Sports Night", but we in the TLK fandom know him as the original and best recognized voice of Rafiki.

Only the second of the original cast to leave us (after Madge Sinclair, Sarabi), Guillaume had a long and illustrious career spanning from stage to screen to the sung and spoken word. He won two Emmy awards for his work in his signature sitcoms, as well as a Grammy for a spoken-word adaptation of The Lion King, and was nominated for numerous other Tony, Emmy, and Golden Globe awards.

Guillaume passed away at age 89 at his home in Los Angeles.

08/07/2017 - Captain America Stars Join Cast as Rafiki and Sarabi

Two more additions to the cast of the live-action TLK: John Kani as Rafiki and Alfre Woodard as Sarabi!

http://movieweb.com/lion-king-remake-2018-rafiki-sarabi-john-kani-alfre-woodard/

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!

08/03/2017 - Chiwetel Ejiofor to voice Scar in Live-Action TLK

We've got another name for the cast of Jon Favreau's upcoming live-action remake: Chiwetel Ejiofor, whom we might know from 12 Years a Slave and Doctor Strange.

http://www.slashfilm.com/the-lion-king-cast-chiwetel-ejiofor/

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!

07/17/2017 - John Oliver as Zazu; Hugh Jackman as Scar

According to The Hollywood Reporter, John Oliver is going to take on Rowan Atkinson's role as Zazu the hornbill in the upcoming live-action remake of The Lion King.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/lion-king-john-oliver-voice-zazu-live-action-movie-1019837

Seems like it could work!

This may have been covered elsewhere already, but Hugh Jackman is on the roll as Scar:

http://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/hollywood/the-lion-king-live-action-footage-released-at-disney-biennial-expo-hugh-jackman-and-john-oliver-in-the-cast-4753316/

I've also heard Beyoncé might be tapped for Nala; but that might just be a rumor for now...

07/15/2017 - TLK Live-Action Sneak Peek at D23

We don't get to see it, but Disney unveiled a glimpse of the upcoming live-action Lion King at D23 Expo 2017.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/15/entertainment/d23-a-wrinkle-in-time-lion-king/index.html

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...

04/28/2017 - Timon & Pumbaa Voice Casting Revealed

Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner have been announced to play Pumbaa and Timon, respectively, in the upcoming live-action Lion King remake.

http://variety.com/2017/film/news/seth-rogen-billy-eicher-timon-and-pumba-in-live-action-lion-king-1202395488/

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.

02/17/2017 - Donald Glover and James Earl Jones confirmed for live-action TLK

Donald Glover (Atlanta, 30 Rock) has been officially cast as Simba in the new live-action Lion King movie, and James Earl Jones is confirmed to return as Mufasa.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/17/entertainment/donald-glover-james-earl-jones-lion-king/index.html

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!

10/02/2016 - Live-Action TLK Remake In the Works

It's been reported in many places that as of September 28, Disney has announced a new remake of The Lion King, to be helmed by Jon Favreau.

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!
🦁

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