The Lion King Remake Announce Childish Gambino and James Earl Jones to Star in the Leading Roles

By EWatson92 [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

With the monumental successes of The Jungle Book ‘live action’ remake in 2016, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland in 2010, Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson set to hit our screens in March, and a planned Little Mermaid remake it’s no surprise the next Disney remake is in progress.

The Lion King is the highest-grossing Disney film of the 90s (worldwide gross $968,483,777), with it only being surpassed by several modern hits such as Frozen ($1,287,000,000) and Toy Story 3 ($1,066,969,703).

The remake will be directed by Jon Favreau who also directed and co-produced the recent reprisal of The Jungle Book. It’s also set to be in a similar style to The Jungle Book, utilising CGI opposed to pure animation as seen in the beloved 1994 original. The Jungle Book and Alice in Wonderland also relied heavily on green screen in order to portray humans/on screen actors. However, of course this won’t be an issue with The Lion King due to the purely animal character list.

Favreau’s critically acclaimed The Jungle Book grossed just shy of $1bn worldwide becoming the fifth highest grossing film of the year behind three other Disney films: Finding Dory, Rogue One, Captain America as well as Universal’s The Secret Life of Pets. The Jungle Book had a particularly impressive voice-over cast including Bill Murray (Baloo), Ben Kingsley (Bagheera), Idris Elba (Shere Khan), Scarlett Johansson (Kaa) and Chrstopher Walken (King Louie).

Since The Lion King remake announcement it’s been greatly anticipated who will take on the leading voice-over roles, considering the calibre of Favreau’s 2016 remake. Favreau himself made the announcement on Twitter that Donald Glover (Childish Gambino) will take the lead role as Simba joined by James Early Jones who will return as Mufasa the character he voiced in the 1994 original.

Legendary actor James Earl Jones will continue to utilise his iconic voice by reprising Mufasa, who of course also voiced Darth Vader in the Star Wars series. However, although lesser known, Donald Glover, primarily known as a Golden Globe-winning rapper (Childish Gambino), isn’t new to the acting scene. He’s well-known for being in Community, 30 Rock, Atlanta and The Martian. As well as that he’s been cast to portray Lando Calrissian in the upcoming Star Wars anthology film about young Han Solo.


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