Well, this is certainly a bummer. Yesterday, a report surfaced that claimed former Wolverine actor Hugh Jackman had been cast in the live-action remake of The Lion King as Scar. It seemed perfect. Almost too good to be true. Sounds like it may have been too good to be true. A new report is claiming that there is "absolutely no truth" to Jackman's casting. The search for Scar continues.
The original report came from Omega Underground and cited an unnamed source with knowledge from the production. This was further fueled by a picture Hugh Jackman posted to his Twitter at Disneyland that featured the caption "partners." The new report comes courtesy of The Wrap, who reached out to Jackman's representatives directly and asked about The Lion King casting rumors. They didn't even leave the door open for negotiations taking place or anything like that. Unfortunately, that means this is pretty much not going to happen.
Disney's D23 Expo is currently taking place and yesterday director Jon Favreau decided to show off some of the first footage from the live-action Lion King remake to those in attendance. The footage was reportedly incredible and recreated the opening Pride Rock sequence from the animated movie. Favreau made no mention of the Hugh Jackman casting during the panel, but it did take place around the same time that the rumors initially started swirling. It seemed possible that perhaps Hugh Jackman's deal just wasn't finalized yet and that he was possibly in negotiations, but it sounds much more likely that this is just one of those rumors that, sadly, had no truth to it.
Hugh Jackman certainly has the voice for the part of Scar. He also has quite a bit of experience playing a ferocious guy who uses his claws to fight. Maybe Jeremy Irons, who brilliantly voiced the character in the animated Lion King, will return after all? He would have joined an impressive cast that includes Donald Glover as Simba, Billy Eichner as Timon, Seth Rogen as Pumba, John Oliver as Zazu and James Earl Jones who is returning to voice Mufasa. There are also reports that Beyonce is wanted as the voice of Nala, but she has yet to be confirmed.
Even without Hugh Jackman as Scar, The Lion King seems to be in very good shape. Maybe Disney can give Benedict Cumberbatch a call? Or maybe Mads Mikkelsen is available? Jon Favreau also directed the recent live-action version of The Jungle Book for Disney and this movie is being done using the same technology. So it should, and reportedly does, look incredible. Disney currently has a release date set for July 19, 2019. So we still have a pretty long wait until we get to see this thing in its entirety. We will be sure to keep you up to date as more information on the movie is made available.