Welcome back to the Pride Lands! The first teaser trailer for the live-action version of The Lion King has dropped, and it’s even better than expected.
In the video, which was released on Thursday, November 22, James Earl Jones, who voiced Mufasa in the 1994 animated Disney film and will return as the king in the adaptation, says, “Everything the light touches is our kingdom,” before teasing a more ominous future.
“But a king’s time as ruler rises and falls like the sun,” he presumably tells his son, Simba, voiced by Donald Glover. “One day the sun will set on my time here and will rise with you as the new king.”
Imagery from the animated movie is obvious in the first teaser: A stampede of wildebeests rushes through a gorge (A concern for anyone who knows and still mourns over Mufasa’s fate). Rafiki (John Kani) also rubs a red line on Simba’s head before he presents him atop Pride Rock to the other animals who bow below.
Beyoncé will star as Nala, Simba’s best friend and, later in life, his love interest. The singer confirmed the casting news in November 2017.
Directed by Jon Favreau, the cast also includes Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Billy Eichner as Timon, John Oliver as Zazu, Alfre Woodard as Sarabi and Keegan-Michael Key as Kamari.
Some of the film’s stars posed for a photo while recording voiceovers for the movie in October. Rogen, Glover (wearing a Donald Duck shirt!), Eichner and Favreau gave fans a behind-the-scenes look at the filmmaking process when the Neighbors star shared the pic on Instagram, adding a lion emoji and a crown emoji as his caption.
The Lion King is set to be released on July 19, 2019.
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