A new image from the remake of The Lion King shows Zazu providing Mufasa with his musical morning report. Directed by Jon Favreau after his success reworking previous Disney classic The Jungle Book, the forthcoming photo-realistic, computer animated, modern version of The Lion King is due for release next month and continues to build momentum and anticipation ahead of its premiere. The star-studded cast includes Donald Glover as Simba, Beyonce as Nala, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Billy Eichner as Timon and Seth Rogen as Pumba and the iconic James Earl Jones will be reprising his role as Mufasa from the original 1994 animated classic.
As might be expected when it comes to updating such a widely-loved and highly regarded movie, images and trailers for The Lion King have attracted a mixture of praise and criticism. Some have suggested that the footage released thus far mirrors the original film too heavily, with some shots looking virtually identical in terms of direction and composition. The decision to opt for a photo-realistic visual style has also attracted some negativity online, particularly when it comes to the animals' speech and movements. Nevertheless, The Lion King looks set to be another lucrative summer 2019 release for Disney, who also have Aladdin and Spider-Man: Far From Home on their hands.
As footage and stills from The Lion King continue to emerge, Empire have unveiled a brand new picture that appears to show the red-billed hornbill Zazu providing Mufasa with his morning report. Zazu acts as Mufasa's assistant in The Lion King and one of Zazu's most memorable scenes sees the bird sing "The Morning Report" to update Mufasa on all the goings-on within his kingdom. In the original 1994 movie, Zazu was voiced by British comic, Rowan Atkinson but in the upcoming remake, will be voiced by British comic, John Oliver.
The new image bears a striking similarly to the "morning report" scene in the original 1994 movie, and certainly won't do anything to support Jon Favreau's claims that his film isn't a shot-for-shot retread. With Zazu perched on his rock and Mufasa taking Simba along on daily duties to show his son the ropes of being King, it appears that the scene will be very familiar to those who enjoyed this moment in The Lion King the first time around.
Of course, it remains to be seen as to whether John Oliver's Zazu will deliver his report in the form of a surprisingly well-prepared musical number, or whether he'll embark on a 15-minute monologue of profanity-laced satire like he does in Last Week Tonight. Assuming it's the former, those who remember Zazu's original morning report will surely delight in seeing an updated version of this cleverly written scene.
- The Lion King (2019) release date: Jul 19, 2019