Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones, who voiced the role of Mufasa in the original Disney blockbuster The Lion King, will play the same part in the upcoming remake of the 1994 film, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Donald Glover, who won a 2017 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series–Musical or Comedy for his work in Atlanta, has been cast as Simba. He is also known for playing Troy Barnes in the TV series Community.
Jon Favreau, who will direct the film, broke the news on Twitter. Jeff Nathanson will pen the screenplay.
Disney, which had a hit with its combination live action and CGI remake of The Jungle Book—also directed by Favreau—and which rolls out a live-action Beauty and the Beast March 17, announced in September 2016 that it was planning a combination live/CGI film remake of the The Lion King. Disney said on its website: “Like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King will include songs from the animated film.”
The Lion King, Disney's 1994 animated feature film, includes music by Elton John and Tim Rice and features the voices of Matthew Broderick (Adult Simba), Jones (Mufasa), Jonathan Taylor Thomas (Young Simba), Nathan Lane (Timon), Ernie Sabella (Pumba), Jeremy Irons (Scar), Robert Guillaume (Rafiki), and Whoopi Goldberg (Shenzi). The film earned more than $1 billion for Disney and won Oscars for the Elton John-Tim Rice song Can You Feel the Love Tonight and Hans Zimmer's original score.
The multi-Tony Award-winning musical The Lion King, directed by Tony winner Julie Taymor, continues at the Minskoff Theatre.
James Earl Jones made his Broadway debut in the 1958 production of Sunrise at Campobello. In addition to his Tony-winning performances in The Great White Hope and Fences, he has also appeared on Broadway in The Gin Game, You Can't Take It with You, Driving Miss Daisy, Gore Vidal's The Best Man, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, On Golden Pond, The Cool World, Infidel Caesar, Danton's Death, A Hand Is on the Gate, Les Blancs, The Iceman Cometh, Of Mice and Men, Paul Robeson, A Lesson From Aloes, Othello, and "MASTER HAROLD" . . . and the boys. Jones was also Oscar-nominated for his role in the film version of The Great White Hope. He received an Honorary Academy Award in 2012.