'Lion King' Remake Casts Donald Glover as Simba, James Earl Jones as Mufasa

Director Jon Favreau announced the news Friday on Twitter.
Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Moet & Chandon; Walter McBride/WireImage
Donald Glover, James Earl Jones

Donald Glover is going to be king.

The actor has been cast in Disney's remake of The Lion King as Simba, with director Jon Favreau announcing the news Friday on Twitter. The helmer also revealed that James Earl Jones will reprise his role as Mufasa, the beloved father character he voiced in the 1994 animated original. 

Favreau first met Glover at The Hollywood Reporter's conversation on creativity in December, where Favreau told Glover his son is a fan of the Atlanta star's music, which he performs under the name Childish Gambino. ("By the way, full disclosure: I see your face every day when I wake up my 15-year-old son because on his door is a portrait of you," Favreau told the actor-musician.)

Favreau brought The Jungle Book to life last year, and though The Lion King won’t be live-action, it will look it. Favreau has plans to build upon his work on Jungle Book, which featured a human child actor and brought a jungle and its animals to life using cutting-edge technology and green screen.

Jeff Nathanson, a Steven Spielberg favorite, is writing the take on the animated classic, which is considered one of the pinnacles of Disney’s animated movies. In the original film, Jonathan Taylor Thomas voiced young Simba, while Matthew Broderick voiced the adult version of the character.

In addition to Simba, Glover is taking on another iconic role, playing Lando Calrissian in the young Han Solo Star Wars spinoff, which is currently filming. Jones, well known as a Star Wars veteran, reprised his voice work as Darth Vader in December's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

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