On Thursday, Disney released the first teaser-trailer of its 1994 classic animation The Lion King, and a contagious, unavoidable excitement for the movie spread throughout clusters of pop culture enthusiasts in the media and the internet at large. The teaser-trailer, with more to come, is a visually stunning shot of what to expect as the movie is slated for a July 2019 release. However, though, there has been a growing commentary and debate that Disney’s live-action retelling of The Lion King isn’t, well, live-action; instead, it’s a CGI-fest, making it a poor rendition of the original which was rendered in more flexible 2D.
Nonetheless, it’s imperative that you are reminded of the movie’s cast. Half of fandom was expecting Beyoncé’s Nala, Simba’s lifelong friend and spouse, to appear as…Beyoncé. This has inspired the internet to churn out memes in her honour, with some appropriately quoting Blow lyrics from her self-titled 2013 album Beyoncé. Donald Glover is voicing Simba. James Earl Jones, who voiced Simba’s father Mufasa in the original, is reprising his role. Jeremy Irons voiced Scar but won’t be lending his voice in the remake. In his place is British-Nigerian actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, whose participation in the project was speculatively announced last year.
Scar is the traitorous villain in The Lion King who betrays and murders Mufasa, frames Simba for it and sends him on exile, then facilitates his ascension to rule over Pride Rock with collusion from the hyenas. He is so conniving, dramatic, with a British accent that made the original a classic. And this is your reminder that Ejiofor will be playing this important villain. Ejiofor still has work commitment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, in the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel which will allow him morph into a successor to the villainous Loki. The Oscar winner is also making his directorial debut with the adaptation of the William Kamkwamba novel The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, a movie heading to Netflix in 2019.
When Bernard Dayo isn’t writing about pop culture, he’s watching horror movies and reading comics and trying to pretend his addiction to Netflix isn’t a serious condition.