Disney has released a featurette on the voice cast of the upcoming The Lion King. The film is an updated version of the 1994 animated feature that featured a young lion called Simba who is driven away from his home by his uncle Scar who also murders Simba’s father and his brother, the reigning King Mufasa.
The film is technically photorealistic and not live-action, since it recreated the characters in a lifelike fashion but does not use actual animals.
“With this film, we wanted to honour the past, but we also wanted to do something fresh,” Favreau, who is also known for playing the role of Happy Hogan in the MCU, explains. Donald Glover, who plays Simba says, “I really love the Lion King, so I feel really blessed to be a part of it.”
“Jon gave JD (McCrary, who voices young Simba) and I so much freedom to create that great relationship between young Nala and young Simba,” says Shahadi Wright Joseph, who voices the young Nala. She is best known for Jordan Peele’s horror feature Us.
The Lion King has divided critics. It has scored 60 per cent at Rotten Tomatoes, which is just above average. The consensus reads, “While it can take pride in its visual achievements. The Lion King is a by-the-numbers retelling that lacks the energy and heart that made the original so beloved–though for some fans that may just be enough.”
Directed by Jon Favreau (who also helmed 2016’s The Jungle Book), The Lion King features James Earl Jones returning from the original as Mufasa. Donald Glover voices the adult Simba, with Chiwetel Ejiofor giving his voice to Scar. Seth Rogen, Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner, John Kani, John Oliver, Beyoncé also lend their voices.
The Lion King releases on July 19.