Disney's live-action remake of The Lion King is starting to come together. The casting process for the movie is currently ongoing and it looks like director Jon Favreau has locked down a couple of actors for very key supporting roles. Timon the meerkat and Pumbaa the warthog will, assuming everything goes well, be voiced by Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner respectively.
According to The Wrap, both Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner are in final negotiations to voice Timon and Pumbaa in The Lion King remake. They will join a voice cast that already includes Donald Glover as Simba and James Earl Jones, who is returning to voice Mufasa, just as he did in the 1994 animated classic. The deals aren't done yet, so anything could happen, but this is Disney we're talking about, so unless something crazy happens, it looks like these will be our new voices for the iconic buddy duo of Timon and Pumba.
While nobody may have thought about Seth Rogen as the right guy to voice a character in a Disney movie that will be marketed heavily to a younger audience, he does seem to fit Pumbaa quite well. The same can be said for Billy Eichner, who many recognize from Parks and Recreation or his Billy on the Street TV series. His neurotic nature definitely seems to suit the character of Timon. In the 1994 version of The Lion King, Timon was voiced by Nathan Lane, while Pumbaa was voiced by Ernie Sabella. They will definitely be hard to replace, but Disney has definitely found a couple of very interesting actors to take over for this "reimagining" of the classic tale. Let's just hope they can sing, because there is no way this remake is going to happen without a new version of "Hakuna Matata."
Disney has been having a lot of success in recent years with remakes of their animated classics. Recently, Beauty and the Beast crossed the $1 billion mark at the box office, so they should have every reason to think they can make a new version of The Lion King work as well. They also have similar remakes of Mulan, Aladdin and Dumbo, among others, in various stages of development as well. But The Lion King is easily one of the most beloved animated movies Disney has ever released, so they will have to handle this one delicately. Even if it is a possibly risky prospect, there is money to be made and money talks.
Jon Favreau, who most recently helmed the live-action version of The Jungle Book for Disney, has been tapped to direct The Lion King remake. The studio also recently locked down a release date for the movie, with it now set to debut on July 19, 2019. We will be sure to keep you up to date with any other casting updates or other important news about The Lion King as it is made available.