The Lion King gets a new promo image putting the spotlight on the film's human voice cast, except for James Earl Jones. Disney continues to modernize their classics this year, following May's Aladdin from Guy Ritchie with the fan-favorite 1994 animated movie. Directed by The Jungle Book helmer, Jon Favreau, The Lion King boasts a star-studded voice cast, who all gathered together - outside of Jones - for an epic ensemble photo.
With less than two weeks to go before The Lion King, Disney is ramping up its marketing machine to promote the project. A slew of TV spots and new character posters have been rolling out the last few days in an effort to entice people to catch the flick once it debuts. An assortment of short promo clips have given the public snippets of the iconic songs that will be featured in the film, including "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" and "Hakuna Matata." And while a recently released behind-the-scenes video features the cast on the job, the latest marketing material for the movie is the first time fans can see all of them together in one frame.
In the new Lion King cast image are Billy Eichner (Timon), Shahadi Wright Joseph (Young Nala), JD McCrary (Young Simba), Seth Rogen (Pumbaa), Florence Kasumba (Shenzi), Donald Glover (Simba), Beyoncé Knowles-Carter (Nala), Alfre Woodard (Sarabi), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Scar), John Oliver (Zazu), Keegan-Michael Key (Kamari) and Eric André (Azizi). Jones is notably absent from the image, and fans would've loved to see him alongside the rest of the cast. Also absent is John Kani, who voices Rafiki. Nevertheless, this new photo will undoubtedly still hype fans up as it highlights the sheer number of talented individuals involved in the movie. Check it out below:
The contemporary adaptation of the beloved Disney classic will run 118 minutes, 29 minutes longer than the original version, backing up claims that it won't be a shot-for-shot remake. So far, marketing has only revealed familiar scenes from the animated film. Meanwhile, the press release that came with the aforementioned photo says that "staying true to the classic story, Favreau utilizes pioneering filmmaking techniques to bring the iconic characters to the big screen in a whole new way." This gives nothing away when it comes to how this upcoming iteration of The Lion King differs from its predecessor, and considering the additional runtime, that means that there's a considerable amount of new footage that could drastically change the way people look at the narrative - for better or worse.
This latest The Lion King cast image may not feature Jones, but it's not alone in that department. The featurette revealed him back in the recording booth to reprise the role, but other than that, he's been largely absent from the marketing. That being said, his presence looms all over the film. As the only voice cast member to return for Favreau's adaptation from the 1994 movie, hearing him as Mufasa again in trailers and TV spots effectively brings fans back to the first time they watched the Disney classic.
- The Lion King (2019) release date: Jul 19, 2019