Update: Hugh Jackman is reportedly not playing Scar in the live-action remake of The Lion King. Following the initial report from Omega Underground, The Wrap reached out to his representatives who said that there is "absolutely no truth" to the report. The rest of the article is as originally published.
Hugh Jackman is trading in one set of claws for another. The Australian actor, best known for his portrayal of Wolverine in the X-Men movies for nearly two decades, recently hung up those claws after the release of the very successful Logan. Now it sounds like he has already lined up another massive blockbuster gig that will allow him to rage out with his claws out yet again, as he is reportedly going to voice Scar in Disney's upcoming live-action remake of The Lion King, which is set for release on July 19, 2019.
Disney is certainly doing everything they can to make an impression this weekend with D23 going on. And so far, they are doing a bang up job. Though, this casting information didn't actually get announced at D23. It comes to us courtesy of Omega Underground who are reporting that "someone with knowledge from the production" has confirmed that Hugh Jackman is going to play Simba's bad uncle Scar in The Lion King live-action remake.
For whatever reason, assuming this information is true, Disney decided not to announce it on stage at D23 during their live-action movie panel. Even though they did have a pretty massive showing for The Lion King. Director Jon Favreau (The Jungle Book, Iron Man) came out to talk a bit about the movie and they played a scene that faithfully recreated the Pride Rock scene from the original 1994 animated classic, but done in the style of the recent live-action Jungle Book. Reportedly, fans went nuts and it looks amazing. Considering how good The Jungle Book looked, that isn't all that hard to believe, especially since the same director is on board. So why didn't they announce the casting? Perhaps Hugh Jackman's deal hasn't officially closed yet? We'll have to see how this shakes out, but it certainly seems like home run casting.
Hugh Jackman has the grizzled voice that Scar needs. Jeremy Irons brilliantly voiced the character in the animated Lion King. Plus, Jackman has singing chops as well, which will come in handy if they want him to do a modern rendition of Be Prepared. He will be joining an already 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.
To add to the possible credibility of this news, Hugh Jackman posted to his Twitter a picture of himself at Disneyland with the caption "partners" just before D23. That certainly seems oddly coincidental. The original Lion King is one of Disney's most beloved animated movies and may be tough for some to accept in any other form. Having someone as lovable as Hugh Jackman on board certainly won't hurt anything. We will be sure to keep you up to date as more information is made available.