Simba and Nala have a special place in my childhood. I still remember leaving the movie theatre clutching my souvenir popcorn pail after watching The Lion King for the first time.
On July 19, 2019, I’ll get the chance to relive that experience with my own child. The Lion King is coming back, in live -action, and we couldn’t be more excited.
It’s been more than a year since director Jon Favreau sent Disney fans into a frenzy by tweeting five words and two emojis (“Excited for my next project ??” ). In the months since, there’s been plenty of speculation about one big star’s involvement, and this week Queen Bey also took to social media to make a more official announcement.
Posting a full cast list for the film to her Facebook, Beyoncé confirmed she is Nala. Even if that was the only fact we knew about this movie, we would go see it, but the star power keeps building. Donald Glover is our new Simba and James Earl Jones comes back to play Mufasa again. Other notable cast members include Seth Rogen as Pumbaa and John Oliver as Zazu the bird.
“It is a director’s dream to assemble a talented team like this to bring this classic story to life,” says Favreau.
Favreau previously directed the similarly star studded, CGI-driven, live-action version of The Jungle Book (which I cried through) so we know he can do one these remakes well.
Live-action reboots are enjoying a bit of a moment right now. Dora’s coming back, and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast pulled in well over a billion at the box office earlier this year. If Belle did that well, just think what The Lion King will do.
We’re predicting that the combined pull of Beyoncé and childhood nostalgia means this movie is going to break box office records. I know I’ll be buying my tickets well in advance of July 19, 2019.