Just whisper the word ‘Disney’ and you’ll see the eyes of our inner child light up with unabashed glee.
Who are we kidding? Our grown-up eyes do exactly the same thing at the promise of some Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo magic.
So, just imagine how excited we were to find out that the upcoming live action remake of The Lion King, one of (if not the most) iconic Disney films ever made, will be starring Queen Bey herself.
Rumours that the world-famous artist would be lending her voice to the film have been rolling around for months. But finally the Run the World (Girls) singer has granted our wishes, confirming that she will be voicing one of the leading roles.
Beyoncé took to Facebook to share the news with fans, posting to her official page with an image of the full cast of the film, simply captioning it: “#TheLionKing 2019.”
This won’t be Beyoncé’s first foray into the film world, with an impressive 10 titles to her name. For the Disney classic re-make, she will take on the part of young lioness Nala.
Who, you may remember is best friend and partner in crime to Simba (the son of King Mufasa), in the original 1994 animation.
The pair have plenty of adventures together, including confronting Scar’s cackling hyenas and trespassing on a spooky elephant graveyard. But as the young cubs grow up, those playful scuffles turn into something much deeper, leading them to rekindle their childhood connection as a romantic relationship.
Throughout the film Nala shows herself to be a plucky, brave young lioness and will happily put Simba in his place when he needs it. Acting as Simba’s equal, the pair eventually rule Pride Rock together and we can’t think of a better person to champion this feminist character than Beyoncé.
In the 2019 re-make, Beyoncé will star alongside rapper and actor Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) who is playing Simba.
In the roles of Sarabi and Rafiki we will see Alfre Woodard, respectively.
Woodard – famed for her roles in True Blood and Luke Cage – will play Simba’s mother, Sarabi. This lioness is, for everyone who doesn’t remember, a total badass, serving as the Queen of Pride Rock when her husband is brutally killed. And, years after Scar usurps the throne, it’s Sarabi who helps Simba fight against Scar and his hyenas.
Meanwhile Kani, who appeared in Captain America: Civil War, is set to take on the role of Rafiki, aka everyone’s favourite baboon.
Simultaneously wise and cheeky, Rafiki acts as advisor to Mufasa and plays a big part in The Circle of Life, lifting baby Simba up for all of the Savannah to see. More important, though, are Rafiki’s actions later on in the movie: when Simba loses his way, it’s the baboon who guides him back home.
James Earl Jones will be reprising his role as Mufasa, which we are absolutely thrilled about. Can you imagine anyone else delivering that powerful line of, “Simba, remember who you are”?
We’re welling up just thinking about it.
And for the evil, scheming role of Scar? Well, it has to be 10 Years A Slave actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor. He will be picking up the menacing mantle and we’re sure, will do a terrifyingly good job of it.
The Lion King will be directed by Jon Favreau. And, as he already has a bevy of titles under his belt – including The Jungle Book and Iron Man, we’re pretty sure that your favourite film is in very safe hands indeed.
Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man Tell No Tales script writer Jeff Nathanson will be creating the dialogue for the film, which is currently being filmed in Los Angeles.
The film is reported to hit cinemas 19 July 2019, giving us about two years to re-watch the original to our heart’s content.
Images: Rex Features / Disney