Beyoncé will play Nala in 'The Lion King' remake

All hail the queen of Pride Rock

By Andrea Tim | Published: 2 Nov 2017

Beyoncé is Nala
Photo: Beyoncé/Instagram

Beyoncé is going to play Nala in The Lion King – what a wonderful phrase indeed!

Disney announced the full cast of the live-action remake of its 1994 animated classic, which will be directed and produced by Jon Favreau, who helmed the successful Jungle Book remake.

Also new to the cast is Chiwetel Ejiofor as the villainous Scar. Donald Glover will play main character Simba, James Earl Jones returns as Simba's dad Mufasa, while Simba's mother Sarabi will be played by Alfre Woodard. Meanwhile, John Oliver is Zazu, John Kani is Rafiki, Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner are best buds Pumbaa and Timon, JD McCrary is the young Simba, Shahadi Wright Joseph is the young Nala, and Florence Kasumba is the hyena Shenzi, one of Scar's cronies. Two other hyenas from the original, Banzai and Ed, have been replaced by Azizi and Kamari, played by comedians Eric Andre and Keegan-Michael Key respectively.

Beyoncé had been rumoured to be considered for the role of Simba's best friend and love interest, but to see it actually happen – plus this ensemble cast, Disney! – is worth having to deal with baby Simba losing his dad all over again. The remake will presumably retain the musical numbers, with Hans Zimmer returning to score the film. Imagine Bey singing Can You Feel The Love Tonight? – we need to sit down.

Disney previewed a sneak peek from The Lion King exclusively at the D23 Expo in July – it has not been released online, unfortunately, but it was apparently amazing. Be prepared for great things.

Here's the official synopsis of the film.

From Disney Live Action, director Jon Favreau's all-new "The Lion King" journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba idolises his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub's arrival. Scar, Mufasa's brother – and former heir to the throne – has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba's exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his. The all-star cast includes Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Billy Eichner as Timon and Seth Rogen as Pumbaa. Utilising pioneering filmmaking techniques to bring treasured characters to life in a whole new way, "The Lion King" roars into theaters on July 19, 2019.

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