The Weekly Address #4: Disney Announces Lion King Live-Action Remake


So while I was away, big news came out from Disney on Wednesday that Jon Favreau is attached to direct a live-action remake of one of their all-time animated classics, The Lion King. The studio is fast tracking the project along with Favreau being officially confirmed to return as director for the sequel to The Jungle Book.

Let’s be honest, sooner or later, The Lion King was going to eventually be next on the list of animated features Disney could make into live-action adaptations because there’s so much potential to be done with The Lion King as a live-action film, and from what the studio has been saying, it’ll be very much in tone with The Jungle Book where you will have the famous songs from the film and will be an all animal cast, so this isn’t really much of a live-action remake but more of a live-action reimagining.

And once the news broke, everybody started talking about casting, who should they cast? Who should take on these iconic characters in a live-action version? Will any of these choices actually end up being the ones chosen in the live-action version? Why not have the original cast return for the live-action version? That last one really was a suggestion by many people I heard.

So, you know what, I’ll throw in some of my personal casting choices for the new version. These are some of my personal choices for who should play which characters:

Simba: Chris Evans

As a grown up Simba, Chris Evans probably has the better chance of fitting that role out of any actor that could possibly play that role. Plus, Evans has proven himself to be more of a capable actor over the years and he can easily match up to Matthew Broderick’s performance in the original animated film.

Mufasa: Morgan Freeman

For Mufasa, you have to get somebody with a distinctive voice for that role, James Earl Jones was such perfect casting in the original film and that’s because Earl Jones has that distinctive recognizable voice that just suites that character very well. And that’s why Morgan Freeman seems like the next best choice for Mufasa, you have to get somebody with a strong voice that fits that character of Mufasa and next to Earl Jones, Freeman’s voice is one of the most recognizable voices in modern times.

Scar: Christian Bale OR Benedict Cumberbatch

Yeah, I couldn’t decide between either one because like with Mufasa, Scar worked as a great villain because he had a perfect voice under Jeremy Irons to give him that menacing force to him. So, it all depends on what kind of Scar they want to go with, do they want to go with a Scar like in the movie where he was clever in his evil plans and very subdued up until the end, in that case, go with Benedict Cumberbatch. But if you want to go for a Scar on the level of Idris Elba’s Shere Khan in The Jungle Book, where he just doesn’t give a fuck how evil he comes off to everybody, then go with Christian Bale.

Nala: Jennifer Lawrence

Let’s be honest, Nala was not really given that much to do in the original Lion King movie, she was there to be the love interest of the main character and also the voice of reason to convince Simba to return to the kingdom and take his place in the circle of life. As far as a character goes, she wasn’t written as well as the rest of the characters were so this gives the writers a chance to make Nala more of a character in this new reiteration. Casting her, however, is a tough call so I went with my go-to answer, Jennifer Lawrence, she can at least bring more depth to the role that the original film did not have.

Timon & Pumbaa: Keegan Michael-Key & Jordan Peele

You need a good duo who works well together in comedy to nail Timon & Pumbaa and one of the best comedy duos out there, Key & Peele, would easily fit the roles perfectly. The two of them could easily capture that same charisma and chemistry that Nathan Lane & Ernie Sabella had in the original film easily.

Rafiki: Giancarlo Esposito

Another tough call, it was either between Esposito or Idris Elba but I went with Giancarlo Esposito because I think Esposito’s range as an actor is much better handled than Idris Elba, not saying that Elba is bad but I think Esposito has proven he’s got a better range actingwise that would fit the role of Rafiki more.

Zazu: Rowan Atkinson OR Simon Pegg

This is the only member of the original cast that I would say should come back because you can still have Atkinson play Zazu and have it still work. If they were going to go for an all new cast for this, probably my next choice would’ve been Simon Pegg, he’s the only other person I can think of that can fit Zazu’s voice and characteristics nicely.

So, those are my casting choices for the main cast of this new reboot. I’m not too worried about this being done wrong because Disney has been on such a roll with many of their live-action projects recently, it’s very rare you see a really bad movie from them and Jon Favreau has more than proven his worth over the years as a director so, I’m pumped either way for this.


My Take On… — Did By The Sea Predict The Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie Split?

Movies In My Collection — 16th Update Of My DVD & Blu-Ray Collection

Actors’ Spotlight — Taraji P. Henson

Arrow & The Flash — Arrow: Legacy / The Flash: Flashpoint

The Reviewing Network’s Favorite Movies — Ghostbusters

TATM Classics — Tower Heist & The Town

The Talk About Nothing — The Secretary

TV Showcase — Girls #23: She Said OK

The TV Weekly — Star Trek 50th Anniversary Part 3

More To Say — Storks

Talking Simpsons — (Friday) Treehouse Of Horror XX; (Saturday) Treehouse Of Horror XXI; (Sunday) The Town

Do You Remember? — The 13 Ghosts Of Scooby Doo

Movie Stop — Episode 6

TATM: Talkin’ About The Movies — The Girl On The Train & The Magnificent Seven

The Magical World Of Disney — Winnie The Pooh

The Reviewing Network Live — Stranger Things Month, Part 1

That wraps up this week’s Weekly Address and check back next week for another recap of the past week’s big movie and TV news stories.

Follow The Reviewing Network at our Facebook page at for continuing updates and debuts for new blog posts and also follow my Twitter feed so you can see new postings right as they are posted.

Also, check out our Reviewing Network store featuring T-Shirts and much more items now available for you to own.

Finally, we now have a Youtube channel, check it out to see new Movie Stops, First Impressions, DVD/Blu-Ray updates, unboxings, and many more.

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