‘Lion King’ Remake: Donald Glover Cast as Simba, James Earl Jones as Mufasa

Donald Glove James Earl Jones Lion
REX/Shutterstock

UPDATED: Donald Glover and James Earl Jones are ready to sing “Hakuna Matata.”

The “Atlanta” star is in talk to play Simba in Disney’s live-action “The Lion King” remake directed by Jon Favreau, Variety has confirmed. Meanwhile, Jones, who voiced Simba’s father Mufasa in the original, will return to reprise the role.

Favreau tweeted a photo of Glover with the message “I just can’t wait to be king. #Simba”

He later tweeted: “Looking forward to working with this legend. #Mufasa,” along with a picture of Jones.

Favreau is directing with Jeff Nathanson writing. The film is being fast-tracked, even as Favreau begins development on his sequel to the recent hit “The Jungle Book.”

“Lion King” was originally released in 1994 and is one of the highest-grossing animated films of all time, ultimately hauling $968.5 million at the global box office.

The studio’s emphasis on live-action reboots follows the successes of “Maleficent” (2014) and “Cinderella” (2015), while “Beauty and the Beast” is already one of the most anticipated movies of the year. The movie, starring Emma Watson, Luke Evans, and Dan Stevens, hits theaters on March 17.

Glover, who recently won two Golden Globes for his new FX series “Atlanta,” is currently filming another huge Disney movie — the “Star Wars” Han Solo spinoff, in which he plays young Lando Calrissian. He is represented by WME and MGMT Management.

Disney’s Live-Action Films in the Works

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  2. Katlyn says:

    onistly i think the remake will be dume the oregnal is so much better i would befine with a third movie but not a remake as a third movie. :(

  3. Finnegan SEO says:

    Wow! My kids were just born when this originally 1st came out. You’re making me feel old!

  4. Oh, wow, this is going to be a disaster, all these guys walking around in weird costumes, playing these parts.

  5. feed2all says:

    As Mufasa’s brother? No, I think they’re going for a particular kind of casting with this version, probably matching the stage play a bit closer.

    Characters like the hyenas, Zazu, or Timon and Pumbaa are probably open to anyone (maybe other original performers will return), but for Mufasa’s family there will be a racial consistency.

  6. What ever happened to original ideas? Why the hell do we just remake old movies?! Let’s stop and go back to the drawing board.

    • Richard says:

      Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and “King Lear” are based on older plays called…”Hamlet” and “King Leir.” There were SEVEN film versions of the “Wizard of Oz” before the Judy Garland version. Humphrey Bogart’s “The Maltese Falcon” is actually the THIRD version. Bob Dylan “borrowed” his lyrics and melodies from old folk songs; the Beastie Boys “Paul’s Boutique” is built on over 100 samples. Like they say: everything is a remix!

  7. I will be interested in seeing this. I wasn’t a fan of the original, or even the first Jungle Book. I liked the last remake of Jungle Book.

  8. Donald Kirk says:

    Very very sad….this is going to be totally wrong….nothing against the actors they are very talented its just a mistake to remake such a wonderful movie…..get yourself some better creative writers Disney and this wouldn’t need to go on……

  9. I’d much rather see another sequel. The original lion king is great, I see no reason to remake it.

  10. Dessi says:

    Mufasa doesn’t sing Hakunah Matata

  11. Chris says:

    Congrats Donald, truly one of the most talented people alive. He will kill it as simba just like everything he puts his fingerprints on.

  12. Joe Sixer says:

    Simba & Han Solo? – Wow.

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