The Lion King cast: Who plays Simba and Nala in the Disney remake? Who does Beyoncé play?

The Lion King has been one of the most revered animated films of all time since it came out in 1994. Now, the Disney remake machine has recreated the story in full CGI glory. The cast is impressive, featuring some familiar voices, and others wholly new to the tale that is essentially Hamlet – but with lions.

Who stars in The Lion King cast?

Donald Glover voices Simba, and told Entertainment Weekly the film focus on Simba’s “transition from boy to man and how hard that can be when there’s been a deep trauma”.

JD McCrary voices young Simba, and said: “Donald Glover is so talented that I actually did have to take it into consideration because if Simba is going to grow up to be some sort of figure and you know of it, you have to keep that motive.”

Chiwetel Ejiofor voices Scar, and described the character to EW as “psychologically possessed” a character who can “turn everything on its head in a split second with outrageous acts of violence.”

Veteran actress Alfre Woodard voices Sarabi, Simba’s mother.

Who does Beyoncé play?

Beyoncé voices Nala, Simba’s childhood best friend and future love interest.

Speaking about Beyoncé’s casting, director Jon Favreau said: “Part of Beyoncé joining the film is that she’s got young kids, part of it is that it’s a story that feels good for this phase of her life and her career, and she really likes the original very much.

“And then, of course, there are these wonderful musical numbers that she can be involved with, and my God… she really lives up to her reputation as far as the beauty of her voice and talent”.

Shahadi Wright Joseph voices young Nala, having previously played her the lioness in the Broadway production.

Who else is in the cast?

Seth Rogen voices Pumbaa and said of his role: “As an actor, I don’t think I’m right for every role — there are a lot of roles I don’t think I’m right for even in movies I’m making.

“But Pumbaa was one I knew I could do well”

Billy Eichner voices Timon, the meerkat and best friend of Pumbaa. 

John Kani voices Rafiki with comedian John Oliver as Zazu.

James Earl Jones returns as the voice of Mufasa, Simba’s father.

Florence Kasumba, Eric Andre, and Keegan-Michael Key voice Shenzi, Azizi and Kamari, Scar’s hyena henchmen.

Amy Sedaris voices an unnamed elephant shrew, a character not featured in the original film.

The Lion King is out in cinemas on July 19, 2019

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