Lion King Gets Donald Glover as Simba, James Earl Jones as Mufasa
With Jon Favreau set to direct Disney's highly-anticipated live-action adaptation of The Lion King, the focus has now turned to casting. Jon Favreau himself has taken to social media to announced that Donald Glover has been cast as Simba, with James Earl Jones portraying his iconic father. It remains to be seen if the filmmaker will continue to make more casting announcements through social media, but it certainly seems possible. The studio hasn't announced when production will begin at this point yet.
Jon Favreau made these casting announcements on Twitter this afternoon, revealing who will play two of the most important roles. James Earl Jones will essentially be reprising his role from the original animated classic, where he also provided the voice for Mufasa. In the original animated movie, the young Simba was voiced by Home Improvement star Johnathan Taylor Thomas, while the adult Simba was voiced by Matthew Broderick. It remains to be seen if Jon Favreau is considering other voice cast members from the original Lion King to star in this live-action project.
The last update we got on this reboot was that director Jon Favreau plans on using virtual reality technology for this film. He revealed that they used some VR technology to create virtual environments, and then go on location scouting expeditions within these virtual locations, and that he could move assets around these virtual locations in real time with VR technology. The filmmaker also added in that interview that he plans on using the same "photoreal" technology that he used to bring the animals to life in his hit adaptation of The Jungle Book with the animals in this new Lion King project.
Jeff Nathanson (Rush Hour, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) came aboard in October to write the screenplay for The Lion King. The original film follows the adventures of a young lion cub named Simba, who just can't wait to be king. The sudden death of his father, Mufasa, and the treacherous actions of his Uncle Scar lead Simba into exile and ultimately on a hero's journey of self discovery. Adopting the "hakuna matata" philosophy of his comical jungle guardians, a warthog named Pumbaa and a meerkat named Timon, Simba grows to maturity, but eventually comes to terms with his destiny and returns home to Pride Rock to help put things right. It isn't clear how much the story will change in this new version.
Donald Glover recently signed on to play a young Lando Calrissian in Disney's highly-anticipated Star Wars spin-off Han Solo: A Star Wars Story, and he recently created and starred in the critically acclaimed FX comedy series Atlanta. He also has an unspecified role in this summer's Spider-Man: Homecoming, which hits theaters July 7. James Earl Jones recently reprised his Mufasa role in the animated TV movie The Lion Guard, and he returned to lend his iconic voice to the villainous Darth Vader in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Take a look at Jon Favreau's tweets below announcing the first two cast members for The Lion King.