Following the success of Alice in Wonderland in 2010, Disney has started to adapt their classic animated films into live-action features. Next in line is the ever-popular Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson, which will debut in mid-March. Disney has announced several films set to become live-action such as Peter Pan, 101 Dalmatians, and Mulan, and, most recently, The Lion King has come into the spotlight. The title will be directed by Jon Favreau, known for the first two Iron Man films, and the live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book.
While the wildly popular Broadway musical interpretation of The Lion King has drawn acclaim over the years, it is not easily accessible. The musical is not viewable online, so the only way to see it is in the theatre. While the movie is bound to have its own charm, a live-action film is a clever way to reach a broader audience.
On February 18, Favreau announced that Donald Glover will be playing Simba by tweeting the actor’s photo with the caption, “I just can’t wait to be king,” a lyric from the song of the same name from the original film.
Glover is known for his popular roles on the hit television series Atlanta and Community and will portray a young Lando Calrissian in the upcoming Han Solo movie.
Shortly after, Favreau confirmed James Earl Jones’ role as Mufasa by tweeting his photo and expressing his excitement about working with the film legend.
James Earl Jones is best known as the voice of Darth Vader, but he was also the original voice of Mufasa in the 1994 animated film. It will be a delight to see him reprise one of his classic roles.
A release date has not yet been announced for The Lion King.