The voices for two of the most beloved characters in The Lion King are close to being cast. If all goes well, Seth Rogen will do the voice of Timon and Billy Eichner will be Pumbaa. According to Harper's Bazaar, the two actors are in "final negotiations" to join the cast.
Timon and Pumbaa are a dynamic duo in The Lion King who bring a lot of laughs to the film. Timon is a meerkat and was voiced over by Nathan Lane in the original movie. Pumbaa is an adorable warthog and was played by Ernie Sabella in the original.
Seth Rogen is best known for his comedic performances in movies such as "Superbad," "Neighbors," "Knocked Up," and "This is the End." Billy Eichner is the host of the comedy game show, Billy on the Street.
The remake will include songs from the original animated movie, which came out in June of 1994. One of the songs in the original, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" by Elton John, won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. Both awards were for "Best Original Song in a Motion Picture."
That's good news about the music, because one of the most popular songs in the movie, "Hakuna Matata," will undoubtedly make it's way back on screen for the remake. It's the characters played by Rogen and Eichner who belt out the catchy tune.
Some confirmed cast members of The Lion King live-action remake include Donald Glover and James Earl Jones. Glover will play the role of Simba and James Earl Jones was cast as Simba's father, Mufasa. Jones was the voice of Mufasa in the original, so it's a nice touch to have him back again, over twenty years later. He is the first actor to ever to reprise a role for a Disney remake.
Jon Favreau is directing the movie and Jeff Nathanson is doing the writing. We all know the magic that Favreau can do on screen. He is the master behind Elf and the Iron Man movies, and he did a phenomenal job with the remake of The Jungle Book.
So he's no stranger to the art of a good remake, but that doesn't mean he isn't feeling the stress of it all. Even though The Jungle Book was a huge success, it's not guaranteed that the same will happen when he is directing his latest remake. Favreau told Polygon the following.
"The Jungle Book was 50 years ago, but The Lion King was only 20. It came out in the age of video where people were watching it over and over again. So I have to prioritize that when I'm directing. I have to try and honor what was there. In some ways it's like bringing a Broadway play back because there are certain expectations."
Disney just announced that The Lion King live-action remake will be released on July 19, 2019. The film studio also announced today some other big releases, including Frozen 2 which will come out on November 27, 2019, Indiana Jones 5 on July 10, 2020, and Star Wars:Episode IX on May 24 of 2019.
The original The Lion King movie was a box office hit. It was the highest grossing film in 1994 and is the fourth highest-grossing animated film of all time. The movie won a Golden Globe Award in 1995 for "Best Motion Picture-Musical or Comedy."
Broadway has also found a lot of love with The Lion King. The show has been going since the late '90s and is still a hot ticket today. It is Broadway's third longest running show in history and has made more money than any other Broadway production.
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