The Lion King: Live Action

All information on the upcoming live-action Lion King film will be collected here as it becomes available. Please send me any interesting items you might come across!

Confirmed Cast

  • Young Simba JD McCrary
  • Adult Simba Donald Glover
  • Adult Nala Beyoncé
  • Mufasa James Earl Jones
  • Scar Chiwetel Eliofor
  • Timon Billy Eichner
  • Pumbaa Seth Rogen
  • Zazu John Oliver
  • Shenzi Florence Kasumba
  • Azizi (Banzai) Eric Andre
  • Kamari (Ed) Keegan-Michael Key
  • Sarabi Alfre Woodard

11/22/2018 - TLK Live-Action: Teaser Trailer

11/18/2018 - Rumor: New "White Lion" Look for Scar

Via Charlie Quigg:

Disney’s reimagining of The Lion King is deep into production and if you were lucky enough to see the footage from last years D23 Expo then you know the films characters will have a familiar to them, except one fan favorite character.

We have exclusively learned from a source close to the project that the film’s villain Scar is expected to have a new look to him.

According to our source, The studio is considering making Scar a rare white lion with a weak/frail look to him, the idea is to give Scar a much different look from the rest of the lions in the film(Simba, Nala, Mufasa, Serabi). This would be drastically different from the dark orange and black we know from the classic animated film.

It should be noted that this is what is being considered and things can easily change in post-production.

07/12/2018 - Live-Action Mufasa Spotted

UPDATE: Word is that this tweet is fake—the lion isn't Mufasa, but rather from an upcoming Ghost and the Darkness remake.

This is all rumormongering at this time, so take both the claim and the retraction as unconfirmed.


Via Charlie Quigg, we've got our first look at Mufasa in the upcoming Lion King live-action reboot: for more pictures.

Wow! It'll be interesting to see how this lion looks in motion. Certainly not a trace of "cartooniness" in this design. One wonders how much characterization and differentiation can be brought out in such a naturalistic model. Seems to be about how I'd picture a real-life Mufasa to look in any case!

02/15/2018 - Elton John Returns to TLK, With Beyonce

Charlie Quigg sends this news nugget, which will likely excite those of us encouraged by all the old names returning from the original:

Sir Elton John has confirmed he’s gone back to his Lion King roots and will work on the soundtrack for the remake.

Speaking to The Sun, he said he was heading back into the studio to help create a new end credits song for the 2019 film that will star Beyonce, Donald Glover and Seth Rogen.

The 70-year-old said: ‘They need to have a new end credits song. There’s going to be four of our songs in the film, from the original: Can You Feel The Love Tonight, Hakuna Matata, I Just Can’t Wait To Be King and Circle of Life.

‘And then there will be an end, closing song, and we’ve been speaking to Beyoncé’s people and hopefully Tim [Rice] and I and her can cook up something.

The Rocket Man added: ‘It will be great to work with her. So we will see.’

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!

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.

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!

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!

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.

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.

Seems like it could work!

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

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.

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...