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In today’s latest “we didn’t know we needed this until now” news, Variety has reported that recent Golden Globe-winner Donald Glover will lead the upcoming live-action Disney remake of The Lion King, directed by John Favreau, as Simba. Additionally joining him is original Mufasa himself, James Earl Jones, reprising the role he voiced in the 1994 animated film. And we couldn’t be more thrilled!

Favreau expressed his excitement on Twitter.

Tony and Emmy-winner Jones, one of the most distinguished actors of all time, reappeared on Broadway last season opposite Cicely Tyson in The Gin Game. Prior to that, his career has spanned more than 60 years.

No word yet on whether or not this will include songs, like its predecessor, or if it will incorporate live-action with a mix of CGI. Jeff Nathanson will provide the screenplay.

Loosely based on Hamlet, the Oscar-winning film tells the story of a young lion cub who flees his home into exile following the murder of his father by his power-hungry uncle. With the help of a ragtag duo and his childhood friend, an adult Simba must learn to face the past and accept his role as King of the Pridelands.

Featuring music by Elton John and Tim Rice, the animated feature has subsequently spawned two sequels, a spin-off, several animated television series, two Walt Disney Parks and Resorts attractions, and a Tony and Olivier Award-winning Broadway musical.

Now in its 20th year, The Lion King is the third longest running show on Broadway, with multi-lingual productions all over the world. With direction by Julie Taymor, it received five Tony Awards, including “Best Musical,” and has since grossed over $1 billion dollars, the highest of any show ever.

Scar and Mufasa face off in The Lion King.

Image: Joan Marcus

The Lion King is only one of many of Disney’s upcoming live-action features, including Mulan, Dumbo, Winnie the Pooh, The Little Mermaid, Pinocchio, and the widely-anticipated Beauty and the Beast, featuring Audra McDonald, in theaters next March.

In relation to his on-screen father, Glover will also make an appearance in another Disney movie, the Star Wars Han Solo spin-off, which has begun shooting.

Glover, also a rapper under the name “Childish Gambino,” won two Golden Globes for his critically-acclaimed show Atlanta on FX. We already know he’ll kill it as one of the most beloved characters of the Disney Renaissance.

(Calling it now: Cynthia Erivo as Nala. Make it happen).

Dream-cast. Go!



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