Disney surprised everyone for Thanksgiving with a first look at their upcoming live-action remake of The Lion King. The first trailer and poster dropped today, showing what looks like a scene-for-scene recreation of the classic 1994 animated adventure. Directed by Jon Favreau, this beautiful CGI-animated retelling will be in theaters July 19, 2019.
From Disney Live Action, director Jon Favreau’s all-new The Lion King journeys to the African savanna where a future king must overcome betrayal and tragedy to assume his rightful place on Pride Rock. The teaser recreates the opening scene from the original Lion King almost beat for beat with Rafiki lifting baby Simba on Pride Rock, showing the youngster off to the rest of the animal kingdom. As this plays out, we get to hear James Earl Jones, who returns from the original to reprise his role as Simba’s loving and wise father Mufasa, providing narration for the trailer.
Lions will rule the African savanna this summer when Donald Glover takes on the role of the future king Simba. We don’t get to hear him in the trailer, but we do get a quick rundown of everyone involved with bringing Jon Farveau’s new take on this tale to life.
Beyoncé Knowles-Carter (Dreamgirls) will play Simba’s friend-turned-love interest Nala, Chiwetel Ejiofor (Twelve Years a Slave, Doctor Strange) will play Simba’s villainous uncle Scar, and Alfre Woodard (Juanita, Marvel’s Luke Cage) is along for the ride as Simba’s no-nonsense mother, Sarabi.
JD McCrary (Tyler Perry’s The Paynes, Vital Signs) will play Young Simba in the first part of the movie, showing off a confident cub who’s ready to be king. Shahadi Wright Joseph (Hairspray Live, Broadway’s The Lion King) is playing tough cub Young Nala. As the trailer focuses on wise baboon Rafiki, we get a good look at this classic character as he lifts Simba to the skies. He will be played by John Kani (Coriolanus, Captain America: Civil War). John Oliver (Last WeekTonight with John Oliver, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) is playing hornbill Zazu, who serves as Mufasa’s loyal confidant.
When Simba goes into exile, he will rely on two newfound friends. Seth Rogen (Sausage Party, Neighbors) is the naïve warthog Pumbaa, and Billy Eichner (Billy on the Street, American Horror Story) will play his best pal, know-it-all meerkat Timon.
Most of the animals in this kingdom respect the king. The hyenas have different plans. Florence Kasumba (Emerald City, Black Panther) plays Shenzi, Eric André (The Eric André Show, Man Seeking Woman) plays Azizi, and Keegan-Michael Key (Predator, Friends from College) plays Kamari.
Director Jon Favreau is following up his massive hit The jungle Book with this second trip into the animal kingdom. Only this time there are no humans. Take a look at the first teaser trailer, which shows off exactly what we’ll be getting when the live-action Lion King hits theaters everywhere this summer.