Beyonce Confirmed for New ‘Lion King’; Here’s Everything We Know So Far

The Lion King

After the monster success of Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book last year, Disney announced that the director would take the helm of another “reimagining” of an animated classic, The Lion King. A string of announcements has followed, capped by the latest news confirming that Beyonce Knowles-Carter has joined the cast. Here’s everything we know about the movie so far.

Will this be live-action, animated, or a combination of the two?

We’ve heard that the movie will combine live-action footage with cutting-edge technology, much like the new version of The Jungle Book.

Is this a straight remake? Or will other story elements be added?

According to a newly-arrived synopsis (via Collider): “Director Jon Favreau’s all-new The Lion King journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother — and former heir to the throne — has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.”

That sounds very close to the original film, so we’ll have to wait to see if the filmmakers have any new tricks up their sleeve, story-wise.

Who is in the cast?

Donald Glover and James Earl Jones were the first cast members announced, with Glover set as the lead character, Simba, and Jones reprising his role as Mufasa. We had heard that Beyonce Knowles-Carter was being sought for the role of Nala and the latest announcement confirms that news.

In the original, a pack of three hyenas was led by Whoopi Goldberg as Shenzi. Florence Kasumba (Black Panther) will voice that role in the new version. Eric Andre and Keegan-Michael Key are also new additions to the cast. Their characters are named Azizi and Kamari, respectively; are those new names for the other two hyenas or are they new roles? Time will tell.

See the new cast image below.

#TheLionKing. 2019. ????

— Walt Disney Studios (@DisneyStudios) November 1, 2017

When will it be released?

The Lion King will open in theaters on July 19, 2019.