The Lion King 2019 remake is currently the highest-grossing animated film of all time. That is because The Lion King is one of the most beloved movies and that adoration only increased when it was announced there would be a remake.
Another quality that makes the film appealing is that it comprises a star-studded cast. Here are some of the actors that voiced the lead characters:
Donald Glover As Adult Simba
Donald Glover also known as Childish Gambino is famously known for his song This is America which caused a worldwide sensation last year. Prior to his role as Simba in The Lion King, Donald was known for his performance in the TV series Atlanta which has earned him several accolades. Asides from being a musician, Donald is also a writer, producer, director, musician, and DJ.
Speaking about his shock when he discovered he was going to star as Simba, he said, ““[Jon and I] were on set together actually, and he took me to the side and said ‘Hey…’ And I thought he was gonna ask me to like sign something for his son or something because I heard his son was a fan. And he was like, ‘Would you want to be Simba?’”
He continued “And I really did think he was joking. I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ I didn’t even know they were making ‘Lion King.’ It was a big, big deal.”
Chiwetel Ejiofor As Scar
Chiwetel Ejiofor first caught the attention of many with his performance in the award-winning film 12 Years a Slave. He also received wide acclaim for his role in the comedy-drama Kinky Boots and has played much more reputable roles in the industry.
Chiwetel was cast for the antagonist role of Scar which has been critiqued by many.
“I think it’s one of those moments when you’re just filled with a pure kind of joy,” he told io9 of getting that call. “[Also], as a fan, I was excited about the prospect of there being another Lion King and just what that might mean,” he described his reaction when he discovered he was playing Scar.
James Earl Jones As Mufasa
A veteran in Hollywood with a career spanning over 6 decades, James Earl Jones has made an impact on the industry with films like Star Wars, The Simpsons, and 1994 The Lion King animated version.
He has been described as “one of the best-known voices in show business” because of his unique deep voice. It is no wonder the actor was asked to play the role of Mufasa once again as he did in the 1994 Lion King animated film.
Seth Rogen As Pumbaa
Seth Rogen is a Canadian-American actor, comedian, writer, producer, and director. He had his big break in the 2007 rom-com film Knocked Up which received wide acclaim and was a hit in the box office. Seth went on to take up several voice-over projects in animated films like The Kungfu Panda, Pineapple Express, The Spiderwick Chronicles, and Horton Hears a Who.
Seth described his role as Pumbaa in The Lion King as one of his ‘Most Naturalistic’ performances.
Billy Eichner As Timon
Like his co-star, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner is a comedian, actor, and producer most notable for his role as Craig Middlebrooks on the sitcom Parks and Creation. He has also made popular appearances in shows like The Wendy Williams Show, Fashion Police, and Last Call With Carson Daly.
Billy was cast as to play Timon, Pumbaa’s chief companion, in the 2019 remake of The Lion King. “I had no idea I was being considered for this,” He described his experience in playing the role, he said, “Then it just became a process of figuring out what our Timon and Pumbaa would be, while also nodding to the original elements that people loved.”
Fans have lauded Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen roles as Pumbaa and Timon respectively.
Beyonce As Nala
For years, Beyonce has been known for her outstanding work as a contemporary artist in show business. This was probably why Disney chose her to play Nala in The Lion King Remake. Opening up on her lead role in the film, she said, “It’s exciting because it’s one of the only red carpets that I do with my family. My daughter gets to dress up and my husband, and this year it’s Lion King which, obviously, I play Nala. So it’s the first time I’m doing any appearance as a person that stars in The Lion King, which is something that I grew up watching.”
Florence Kasumba As Shenzi
Florence Kasumba is a Ugandan-German actress notable for her roles in Captain American: Civil War, Black Panther, and Wicked Witch of The East.
“I remember in ’99, I think, I saw the movie or I saw the show in London and I was so impressed by it and I think that’s when I already prepped myself for the show.” Describing how excited she was to play Shenzi, she said “So when I then, later, did audition, because I wanted to know, ‘Okay, who are the hyenas?’ and they were funny, they were stupid, and that’s something I wanted to do because I think it’s great to work in a team and I loved working on stage.”