Beyonce In Disney’s 'The Lion King' Is Everything We Hoped For & We’re Freaking
Disney's newest trend of taking their hit cartoon films from the last century and remaking them as live action is already paying dividends, Cinderella was a goodly sized hit, and Beauty and the Beast is the highest grossing movie of 2017 so far. But with the announcement of the live-action The Lion King cast on Twitter on Nov. 1, it's looks like the awesomeness is only just beginning. How do you top Hermione Granger herself Emma Watson as Belle? By casting Beyoncé in Disney’s The Lion King as Nala.
Rumors had been swirling since the summer that Beyoncé had been approached for the film, but there was no definite answer on whether or not she had accepted. Fueling the speculation was the revelation that the singer has been approached for the roll of Plumette the Feather Duster in the Beauty and the Beast live action film that came out this past winter, but turned it down as "too small."
Disney had kept the full cast under wraps until this announcement, though the rumors of Donald Glover's involvement were also also circling in the press. But with the full line up now revealed, it seems like their casting director has scored a home run, with a picture perfect line up.
The live action Lion King is expected to pull heavily from the hit Broadway musical, which is still going in New York City, and recently announced their cast for the International Tour last month. In some ways this is a little like the movie of The Producers, which was then made into a Broadway musical, and then that musical back into a movie of its own. Except in this case, the Julie Taymor puppets will most likely be replaced with CGI. Time will tell if the new songs that were written for Broadway will make it into the live action film, as they did for Beauty and the Beast.
Even so, with a cast of this magnitude, The Lion King just became the second major must-watch of the live action canon.
Glover and Beyoncé as leads is only half of the cast coup though. Having the legendary James Earl Jones reprise his original role as Mustafa (he did the voice in the 1993 cartoon) also guarantees those who are still firmly in the anti-live action remake cap will waiver and head to the local movie theater to see this.
It also marshals the entire power of the Beyhive, which will burn down anyone who dares try and cross this movie.*
(*Why anyone would be so foolish as to try and cross this movie is beyond me, but white male critics have never failed to astonish me yet.)
Then there's the fact that Hans Zimmer, who scored the Broadway musical is confirmed to be working on this with Bey and Glover. The combination of that team will be powerful indeed.
Meanwhile for others, this is is merely proof that there is a plan, and Disney knows what it is doing. It's all just one.... well, you know.
The Lion King is only the tip of the iceberg for Disney, which at this point has over a dozen planned live action remakes of their cartoons plotted out to come sometime in the next decade, if not already currently in production. If all of them come with casting announcements of this magnitude, and have Beauty and the Beast level box office numbers, the Mouse House will have added yet another major tent pole to their already enormous empire. (It also owns both the Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchises. Add to that the revitalized Princess Franchise, and it's hard to deny they've got quite a bit on lock.)
Let us sing, and pray that it is so. After all, can you imagine a full cast rendition of that opening, featuring Beyoncé? If anyone needs me, I'll be dead just from the thought of it.
The Lion King live action movie will be in theaters in 2019.