The cast of Jon Favreau's The Lion King remake is starting to fill out, and it appears that the film is looking to add megastar Beyonce to the star-studded list as Nala.
It's been a big day for news on The Lion King, the CG adaptation of the 1994 animated classic in the style of last year's The Jungle Book remake. Earlier today, it was announced that a pair of actors from Captain America: Civil War as Alfre Woodward and John Kani joined the film as lioness Sarabi and mystic monkey Rafiki, respectively. That leaves Nala, Simba's childhood friend and eventual love interest, as the last of the principal core of animal characters without a name attached to it.
That could change soon, however, as sources have claimed that popstar Beyonce is looking to join the film not only as the voice of Nala, but as a producer on the film's soundtrack. According to The Tracking Board's report on the Woodward casting, the former Destiny's Child singer has been in serious talks for the role, but the deal is not official yet since the soundtrack deal would be huge for the movie, making the negotiations a little more complicated:
"There’s still no word on the voice of Nala, though Beyoncé is believed to be nearing a huge deal to voice the latter character and serve as the Elton John of the new film by producing the soundtrack, which is expected to feature new songs from the Grammy-winning singer as well as old favorites from the original Lion King. That’s why Disney may be saving the Nala announcement for last, because the soundtrack has complicated negotiations and it’s nearly as important as the film itself."
We've known for a while that The Lion King would follow in the footsteps of the original as a musical story, as Disney wowed the crowd at the D23 Convention with the new version of "Circle of Life." Adding the rabid popularity that Beyonce brings with her to every project will not only boost the film's box office appeal (as if it needed any more), but adds an interesting dimension to the music of the film. With the production of new songs mixed with old, the movie's production resembles a mix of The Jungle Book and this year's massively popular Beauty and the Beast remake, updating the story with new technology for a new generation.
If everything falls into place, Beyonce will join an already star-studded cast, currently featuring Donald Glover as Simba, Seth Rogen as Pumba, Billy Eichner as Timon, John Oliver as Zazu, and James Earl Jones returning to the role of Mufasa. 12 Years a Slave star Chiwetel Ejiofor is currently in talks to voice the villainous Scar, but has not officially been cast yet in The Lion King, which is due for a prime July 2019 release.
Source: The Tracking Board
- The Lion King (2019) release date: Jul 19, 2019