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    Here's What The Live-Action Cast Of "The Lion King" Looks Like With Their Characters

    Can we skip 2018 and just go right to 2019?

    by ,

    In case you missed it, Disney just confirmed the all-star cast for their live-action version of The Lion King and it's pretty much PERFECT.

    And while the movie won't hit theaters until 2019, let's just say we'll be humming "Hakuna Matata" and counting the minutes until we see Beyoncé, Donald Glover, and the rest of the cast in action.


    First, some music to set the mood...

    View this video on YouTube

    And without further ado, the cast of The Lion King!


    Simba (Donald Glover)

    Disney, Kevin Winter / Getty Images

    Why we're excited: Glover has been on a creative hot streak all year (racking up Emmy and Golden Globe wins) so obviously he's super talented. He'll be able to capture Simba's exuberance perfectly. JD McCrary will voice Young Simba.

    Nala (Beyoncé)

    Disney, Larry Busacca / Getty Images

    Why we're excited: It's Beyoncé. Enough said. And we're secretly praying she'll contribute new music to the soundtrack (and maybe get an Oscar for Best Original Song in the process). Shahadi Wright-Joseph will voice young Nala.

    Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor)

    Disney, Eamonn M. Mccormack / Getty Images

    Why we're excited: Ejiofor has the dramatic acting chops to live up to Jeremy Irons' original performance — and potentially even exceed it. His new take on Scar could be terrifying in the best way possible.

    Sarabi (Alfre Woodard)

    Disney, Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

    Why we're excited: Woodard is a LEGEND and we don't say that lightly. She'll bring a commanding — but warm — presence to Sarabi. It's a tough balancing act, but if anyone can do it, it's Woodard.

    Zazu (John Oliver)

    Disney, Dave Kotinsky / Getty

    Why we're excited: Once you picture Oliver voicing Zazu, you can't UNHEAR it. Oliver's prim, proper, British accent — with a slight hint of neuroticism — was meant for this role!

    Rafiki (John Kani)

    Disney, Marvel

    Why we're excited: Kani played T'Chaka, T'Challa/Black Panther's father in Captain America: Civil War. It was a small but critical role — just like Rafiki. We're looking forward to seeing his distinct voice capture the frenetic energy of Rafiki.

    Pumbaa (Seth Rogen)

    Disney, Araya Diaz / Getty Images

    Why we're excited: Another casting choice that almost makes TOO much sense, if possible. In addition to being perfect for the role, we're excited to see Rogen play off Disney's choice for Timon (see next).

    Timon (Billy Eichner)

    Disney, Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

    Why we're excited: If you've ever seen Billy on the Street, then you know what comedic mayhem Eichner is capable of. If anyone is up to the task of making the role their own in the footsteps of the iconic Nathan Lane, it's Eichner.

    Azizi, Shenzi, and Kamari (Eric André, Florence Kasumba, and Keegan-Michael Key)

    Disney, Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images, Volker Hartmann / AFP / Getty Images, Jamie Mccarthy / Getty Images

    Why we're excited: It looks like Disney has renamed two of the hyenas (Shenzi stays the same). All three casting choices have an impressive pedigree — André and Key are comedic geniuses, and you might recognize Kasumba as her role as a member of the Dora Milaje from Captain America: Civil War and the upcoming Black Panther.

    Mufasa (James Earl Jones)

    Disney, Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

    Why we're excited: Jones *IS* Mufasa. If they were going to bring back anyone from the original cast, it had to be him and his commanding voice. Well done, Disney.

    All we have to say is...can it just be 2019 already?!



    The third hyena who keeps their name from the original movie is named Shenzi, and is the only hyena whose name is the same as the original animated version. An earlier version of this post misnomered the hyena as "Kenzi" and also stated Disney changed all three names. The author once again apologizes for their mistake as they didn't realize how hungover they actually are.

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