The talented writer/director/actor Jon Favreau announced on Friday that Donald Glover will play Simba and James Earl Jones will play Mufasa in Favreau’s upcoming live-action version of The Lion King. Favreau made the announcements on his Twitter feed.
I just can’t wait to be king. #Simba pic.twitter.com/wUYKixMBJI— Jon Favreau (@Jon_Favreau) February 18, 2017
Looking forward to working with this legend. #Mufasa pic.twitter.com/1LszbWrcYT— Jon Favreau (@Jon_Favreau) February 18, 2017
A rep for Glover confirmed his role in the film with Complex.
Glover is a busy guy. The success of Atlanta has been well-noted, and he has a role coming up as a young Lando Calrissian in a new Star Wars spinoff.
James Earl Jones, who will play Mufasa, voiced the beloved character in the 1994 original film.
Favreau’s remake of The Jungle Book in 2016 was a huge hit, earning $965.8 million worldwide. His success with Jungle Book was likely what led him to the role leading the new Lion King.
"Like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King will include songs from the animated film," Disney said when the announcement was made.
Adding the renowned director to The Lion King seems like a formula guaranteed for success. The Lion King is one of the highest-grossing animated films of all time. It has brought in nearly $1 billion for Disney—$968.8 million since the film debuted, to be exact.
No release date has been set yet for either Favreau’s sequel to The Jungle Book or his take on The Lion King. Disney also has a live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson as Belle, coming out in March.