A new video spotlights the original cast of The Lion King recording the song “Be Prepared”. The 1994 classic is being remade as a Jon Favreau-directed live-action/CGI movie due out in 2019, with Donald Glover set to star as Simba. A handful of side characters have also been cast for the remake, including Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen as Timon and Pumbaa, as well as John Oliver as Zazu.
One of the key characters who has yet to be cast is Simba’s uncle Scar, the villainous brother of Simba’s father Mufasa. It reportedly won’t be Hugh Jackman, leaving the casting for the role wide open. Jeremy Irons lent his distinctive voice to the character in the 1994 original, including for the song “Be Prepared”. A newly released behind-the-scenes video shows Irons and the original Lion King cast bringing the song to life in the studio.
EW has exclusively revealed the previously-unreleased video. The video shows side-by-side clips of the movie’s original voice recordings and final animations, mostly set to Irons’ performance of “Be Prepared”. Fellow original cast members like Whoopi Goldberg and Cheech Marin, who played the hyenas Shenzi and Banzai, make brief appearances in the video as well.
Also appearing in the video is James Earl Jones as Mufasa, revealing the original recording of the line “Don’t turn your back on me, Scar.” Jones will reprise his role as Mufasa in the 2019 remake, ostensibly making him the only original cast member to return. The Lion King’s summer 2019 release will follow Tim Burton’s Dumbo remake in what’s shaping up to be a big year for Disney remakes.
This video is a fascinating look behind the curtain to an all-time classic Disney movie, and an eye-opening look at Irons delivering his memorable voice performance as Scar. “Be Prepared” wasn’t one of the original movie’s three Oscar-nominated songs, but it marked a major turning point in the movie itself and it will be interesting to see how Favreau retells Scar’s rallying cry in the remake.
The role of Scar in 2019’s Lion King remake has yet to be cast, but we have some ideas for who could land it (Michael Keaton and Andy Serkis among them). Considering Jones’ return, Irons could conceivably come back as well, but at this point it’s likely that someone else will have to fill his very big shoes. Perhaps this video will inspire a big-name actor to step forward and lend his voice.
Disney’s original Lion King gets a special Walt Disney Signature Collection release on Digital HD on August 15, and Blue-ray on August 29.
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