It’s been a BIG day for Disney’s upcoming remake of The Lion King.
It was only a few hours ago that we learned of Alfre Woodard climbing on board to play Simba’s mother, Sarabi, which was followed in quick succession with the announcement that John Kani would bring Rafiki to life. Of course, they’ll join a star-studded cast that already includes Donald Glover as Simba, James Earl Jones reprising his role as Simba’s father, Mufasa, Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen playing meerkat/warthog double act Timon and Pumbaa and last but not least, Chiwetel Ejiofor, who signed on just last week for the part of Scar.
Admittedly, we’re not too sure that The Lion King really needs a remake, but if we’re going to be getting one, this is certainly the type of talent we’d like to see involved, and it only gets better, too, as The Tracking Board is reporting today that Beyoncé is close to signing a deal to play Nala. Not only that, but Disney is also trying to get her to produce the soundtrack, which would include new songs from the artist.
Here’s what the outlet had to say:
“There’s still no word on the voice of Nala, though Beyoncé is believed to be nearing a huge deal to voice the character and serve as the Elton John of the new film by producing the soundtrack, which is expected to feature new songs from the Grammy-winning singer as well as old favorites from the original Lion King. That’s why Disney may be saving the Nala announcement for last, because the soundtrack has complicated negotiations and it’s nearly as important as the film itself.”
If The Tracking Board’s right, and they usually are, then this would obviously be a huge deal for the project. Not that the cast isn’t impressive already, but snagging a mega star like Beyoncé would take things to another level, ensuring that the soundtrack is top notch and opening up the movie to a whole new demographic who might not have seen it otherwise. As one of the biggest artists in the world right now, having the Queen Bee in your film almost guarantees box office success. Then again, with or without Beyoncé, The Lion King is going to make good money.
Behind the scenes, Jeff Nathanson (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) is the screenwriter attached to the latest draft, and after the back-to-back success of The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, the Mouse House will be hoping to make it three for three with live-action remakes.
The Lion King is just one of a whole host of classic Disney animated properties being given a new coat of paint. Others on the way include Dumbo, Mulan and Aladdin. The tale of the flying elephant is first out the door, with a release date of March 29th, 2019. The story of Simba and his pals is then set to land in cinemas on July 19th.