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John Oliver to voice Zazu in Jon Favreau's The Lion King

John Oliver Zazu The Lion King

As long as Disney's live-action adaptations of their animated classics keep bringing in the big bucks, the studio will continue their march towards giving every single one of them the live-action twist. One of the many upcoming remakes will be Jon Favreau's THE LION KING, which will be shot back-to-back with a sequel to THE JUNGLE BOOK. The cast of THE LION KING continues to come together, and The Wrap reports that John Oliver will be lending his voice to the project.

John Oliver will play Zazu in THE LION KING, the red-billed hornbill who serves as King Mufasa's majordomo and close friend. In the 1994 animated original, the high-strung Zazu was voiced by Rowan Atkinson. Oliver will join a cast which includes Donald Glover as Simba, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, and Billy Eichner as Timon. Earlier this year it was rumoured that Beyonce was Jon Favreau's top choice to voice Nala, Simba's best friend who would later become his wife, but scheduling conflicts may be keeping her from signing on.

Jon Favreau's THE LION KING is set to be scripted by Jeff Nathanson (CATCH ME IF YOU CAN) and, for his part, Favreau is certainly aware of how highly regarded the original is as well as the challenges which he will have to face by remaking it.

The thing is that the animated version of The Lion King is — I don’t know how you outdo that. It works tremendously well. I think it was sort of the end of the era before the 3D animation started coming in, and I don’t think anybody wants to see an animated version because if you want to see an animated version, look at the original. It holds up, it’s still wonderful to watch. So the trick is can you make it look like you actually found real animals in a real environment? And how do you translate the story through that?

THE LION KING is set for a July 19, 2019 release.

Source: The Wrap

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