After the massive success of live-action remakes like The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, it was a no-brainer for Disney to next tackle one of their most beloved films to date – 1994 classic The Lion King.
With Jon Favreau attached to direct, the project has been amassing its cast for the past few months. Donald Glover’s signed up to voice Simba, with James Earl Jones reprising his role as Simba’s father, Mufasa. More recently, Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen were revealed to be playing meerkat/warthog double act Timon and Pumbaa, while Chiwetel Ejiofor signed on just last week for the part of Scar.
Now, the casting spree continues with news that Disney has chosen John Kani to play Rafiki. That’s according to The Wrap, who note that the Captain America: Civil War actor will bring the pivotal character to life. Though not a household name, Kani’s a reliable talent with a commanding voice and will no doubt be a fine addition to the already very impressive line-up.
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. For the record, Jon Favreau is also attached to direct a Jungle Book sequel in the not-so-distant future.
The Lion King is currently shooting in Los Angeles ahead of an expected release in 2019. Other live-action reboots in the works at Disney include Mulan, Dumbo, the fabled Pinocchio, and Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin, the latter of which recently cast Marwan Kenzari in the villainous role of Jafar.
Source: The Wrap