Jon Favreau’s “live-action” (let’s use that term loosely, here) remake of The Lion King is batting 1,000 when it comes to casting, with Donald Glover in the role of Simba and Beyoncé (rumored) for the role of Nala. But today’s additions might be the most perfect yet, as Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen have signed on to voice Timon and Pumbaa, everyone’s favorite unlikely-but-lovable meerkat and warthog buddy duo. Meanwhile, we’ll just be waiting for the other shoe to drop in this casting situation — like, say, if Favreau decides to cast Steve Bannon as Scar. Wait, actually that would be sort of perfect.
The Lion King
You may remember pop star Beyoncé Knowles from her stint in the late-’90s/early-’00s R&B girl group Destiny‘s Child with “Pretty Girl Rock” singer Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams (not the one from Manchester by the Sea). But did you know that the celebrated performer has cultivated an active solo career in the years since the group that made her famous broke up? Believe it or not, Knowles released a string of successful studio records over the past decade, starred in the music-video-compilation film Lemonade last year, and wed rapping man Jayson Z in 2008. And with that, I have completed my impression of someone who only heard of Beyoncé when scanning her Wikipedia page just now. We all know who Beyoncé is. She‘s Beyoncé.
Everyone who knows The Lion King remembers that signature opening sequence with the classic musical number “The Circle of Life.” But did you know this great scene was originally planned without the song? Originally, Disney filmmakers thought this sequence would be heavy on dialogue, laying out all the various characters and aspects of the plot. But then they heard the instrumental version of “Circle of Life” and realized the scene would be much stronger by letting it play. That’s just one of the kingly facts in the newest episode of You Think You Know Movies!
So get ready for the best news you’ll hear probably all week. (Yes, I know it’s Friday, but I’m very excited and am losing the ability to process linear time.) Not only is Donald Glover voicing Simba in Jon Favreau’s live-action The Lion King, but none other than James Earl Jones will be lending his vocal talents to Simba’s father Mufasa.
The one good thing that the United States Congress has ever done was pass the National Film Preservation Act in 1988, establishing a National Film Registry in the Library of Congress wherein moving pictures deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” can be securely preserved. The National Film Preservation Board can induct up to 25 new entries into the archives each year, and today Deadline brings the news of which movies will effectively achieve immortality as the Class of 2016. Lots of enduring, worthy works have made the cut, though it is with a solemn heart that I must once again report the egregious continued snub of Pauly Shore comedy vehicle Bio-Dome.
Over nearly 80 years, the 56 feature films from Walt Disney Animation Studios have become beloved and instantly recognizable their iconic fairy tales, memorable comic-relief sidekicks, terrifying villains, and some of the greatest songs in cinema history. This week heralds the release of Disney’s latest animated film, Moana, which boasts songs co-written by Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. So there’s no better time to compile a list of the 25 best songs in animated Disney history — with a couple of important pre-list caveats. First, to avoid overloading the list with songs from only a few films, each movie here could only be represented by a maximum of two songs. Second, this list has films in the official Disney animation canon only, so nothing from Pixar or even The Nightmare Before Christmas. With that in mind, here’s the list!
With the news that Jon Favreau was directing a live-action remake of arguably THE most popular Disney movie of all time, The Lion King, people were undoubtedly excited. Favreau successfully launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe with 2008’s Iron Man, believed by many to still be the best Avengers movie, and has had a few notable successes since, including Chef in 2014 and this summer’s almost-entirely-CGI remake of The Jungle Book. The latter did so well that Disney hired Favreau again to direct The Lion King, and today it was announced that the film has found a screenwriter.
Well this is certainly an interesting tweet, from director Jon Favreau: