The Lion King Has An Insaningly Star-Studded Cast And We're Shook
By: Steve Hladik
2019 can officially not come any quicker. Obviously, the year signals that we have made it halfway through the Trump presidency (if he hasn't brought down the entirety of mankind by then) but also because of the release of Disney's live-action The Lion King movie. Disney announced this remake a while back as a part of their updating of Disney animated classics into live-action films (this past year brought us the box office hit Beauty and the Beast, and other upcoming installments include Aladdin and Mulan.)
On Twitter yesterday, Disney officially announced the cast for the film, and it...is...everything. We have recent Emmy winner Donald Glover as Simba, James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa, Alfre Woodard as Sarabi, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, John Oliver as Zazu, Seth Rogen as Pumba, Billy Eichner as Timon, Eric Andre as Azizi, Keegan-Michael Key as Kamari.
But the piece of casting that has everyone losing their minds is Beyoncé as Nala. That's right, the Queen herself will be gracing us with her presence and talents as she takes on the role of Simba's childhood friend turned love interest. We need to start planning the 2019 Oscars to make sure that we get a Beyoncé performance of one of the Lion King music classics (or perhaps an original song to add an Oscar to Bey's mantle.)
All kidding aside, this is quite literally, brilliant casting. Instead of lazily white-washing the movie, Disney went and secured some of the best African American talent in the biz today, pairing brilliant, young newcomers like Glover and Key with legends such as Jones and Woodard. Let's hope moving forward Disney takes this as an incentive to cast roles according to the race of the part and starts to break the horrific trend of white-washing in Hollywood. Also, kudos to Disney for casting this major motion picture with a primarily African American cast. Representation like this is extremely important and will without a doubt impact many young kids of color who go to see the film. Everyone fits their part like a glove, and like we said, 2019 cannot come any faster.