Disney's The Lion King is prompting questions even as it's raking in massive amounts of cash for Disney. One of them is why Jason Weaver only provides Young Simba's singing voice in the original 1994 version.
"The only reason why I wasn't the speaking voice as well for young Simba is because the producers and director of Lion King had no idea at the time what I would bring to the project," Weaver explained to Shadow and Act.
At this point in his career, Weaver was a child actor who had just got his break playing a young Michael Jackson in The Jacksons: An American Dream miniseries. If it wasn't for Elton John—who had been tapped to provide the movie's original songs—Weaver probably wouldn't have made the cut.
"A lot of the reason I was there is because Elton [John] vouched for me," Weaver continued. "I had literally just finished filming The Jacksons and two days later I sang 'I Just Can't Wait to be King' in a recording session."
After wowing the studio with his singing, Weaver says that directors Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff did offer him the speaking roles but they had already inked their contract with Home Improvement's Jonathan Taylor Thomas.
"They actually did offer me the role and the director even called business affairs at Disney and was like 'Yo, did we close out our contract with Jonathan Taylor Thomas? Because I think we want to make the offer to Jason Weaver for the speaking roles,'" Weaver recalls. "And business affairs got back to him and was like 'Nah, we literally just closed the deal.'"
Despite barely missing out on the speaking roles, Weaver says that he was "content" with the signing gig.
"Disney is taking great care of me as it relates to this project," Weaver states. "So I thank Disney for that."