WHAT: Disney’s upcoming live-action remake of The Lion King.
WHO: Houston’s own Queen Bey.
WHY IT’S SO GREAT: Disney has been giving updates about the 2019 The Lion King remake for a few months now, announcing an iconic cast. James Earl Jones reprising his role as the voice of Mufasa? Legendary. Donald Glover as Simba? I didn’t know I wanted that until it was presented to me. But it wasn’t until Wednesday that Disney put out the full cast list, confirming director Jon Favreau’s top choice for the voice of Nala: Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, prompting this reaction from fans everywhere. (Including me.)
Beyoncé isn’t new to acting. She starred in the hit Dreamgirls and acted in the thriller Obsessed alongside Idris Elba. This also isn’t her first voiceover gig. In 2013, she voiced Queen Tara (obviously) in the fantasy movie Epic. It goes without saying that she’s got the musical chops for classics from The Lion King. (Just imagine her singing “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” with Glover.) Plus, now that Beyoncé’s a mother of three, this can be something for her children to enjoy.
The surprise isn’t a shocker: Beyoncé is a celebrity who has done a pretty good job at keeping her private life private to the point that fans rarely get any warning about her upcoming projects and releases. She’s known for dropping albums and videos in the middle of the night with no announcement, leaving fans scrambling to catch up. I wouldn’t be surprised if she’d wanted The Lion King team to keep her involvement on the hush hush until opening night.
You might be asking yourself, “Why a remake of The Lion King?” For that I’ve got to ask, why not? (Especially when you can remake it with a cast this talented.) The 1994 original of The Lion King is one of the highest grossing films worldwide and remaking it is a continuation of Disney’s plan to reimagine classics for a newer audience. The live-action remake will be in the style of Disney’s recent classic remakes—imagine the CGI animals and creatures of the newer versions of Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast. Except, you know, including Beyoncé’s voice. The film’s scheduled release date is July 19, 2019. I just can’t wait.