NEWS

Disney's New 'Lion King' Movie Cast Includes John Kani, Beyoncé, Donald Glover

...but we are really here for John Kani who is playing Rafiki.

02/11/2017 06:38 SAST | Updated 02/11/2017 12:37 SAST
Disney Co. via Reuters

Disney announced the full cast for its 2019 live-action remake of "The Lion King" on Wednesday to thunderous roars of approval.

Donald Glover will voice the character of Simba and Beyoncé will voice Nala. James Earl Jones, who was in the original 1994 film, will return to lend his voice as Simba's father, Mufasa, once more. A trio of comedians, John Oliver, Seth Rogan and Billy Eichner, will play Zazu, Pumbaa and Timon, respectively.

But -- and most notably for a local audience -- South African actor, director and playwright John Kani will play Rafiki.

Many of the original songs are expected to return, according to reports, and the film will be a live-action remake similar to what Disney has done with "The Jungle Book," which was released last year and went on to become a box office smash grossing nearly $1 billion worldwide.

The film, directed by Jon Favreau, will be released in the summer of 2019.

Fans were notably overjoyed with the annoucement of the full cast, with many saying Glover's and Beyoncé's inclusion, and the casting of Chiwetel Ejiofor as the villainous Scar, would add some musical star power to an already talented roster.

*This article has been modified from its original form for HuffPost SA.