The film, directed by Jon Favreau, is in theaters July 18
With less than three weeks until The Lion King hits theaters, Disney is giving fans a closer look at the cast and characters starring in the highly anticipated remake.
On Tuesday, Disney released a lineup of photos that see the epic cast — including Beyoncé — coming face to face with their counterparts in the live-action movie.
The photo of the Lemonade singer, 37, has her in an epic staredown with her character in the film, Nala. Donald Glover also participates in a face to face standoff with his character, Simba, the protagonist of the film.
A second trio, Keegan Michael-Key, Florence Kasumba, and Eric Andre also take deep stares into Kamari, Shenzi, and Azizi, their Disney counterparts.
Rounding out the cast photos are Alfre Woodard, who plays Sarabi, Chiwetel Ejiofor and his character Scar, and the duo of JD McCrary and Shahadi Wright Joseph with a young Simba and young Nala, respectively.
Along with photos of the cast, a closer look at The Lion King is shown in “The King Returns” featurette, which also includes insight about the film’s production, including an interview with director Jon Favreau.
“Lion King was a story that people knew intimately,” Favreau, 52, says, as snippets of the film are show. “It’s a story that remains true to everybody,” Woodard, 66, says, while Oliver, 42, adds, “the song are amazing, and everything you want to hear from a Disney movie.”
The film, which is a remake of the 1994 animated movie, was an exciting opportunity for the cast to revisit the past, as Rogen notes in the video, “getting to relieve it in a new way is really exciting.”
“Entering into Lion King, all that I learned on Jungle Book, there was a tremendous opportunity to retell the story using a new set of tools and new technology,” says Favreau, who directed the 2016 Jungle Book film, which was both a critical and commercial success.
The featurette also offers a quick look at James Earl Jones, who returns to The Lion King franchise to voice Musafa, which he did in the 1994 film.
“It’s nice to have actors who are both performers and singers,” Favreau says, noting that both Beyonce and Glover offer “something new” to the latest film.
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“These are real musicians, brining their creative voices to this,” the director adds.
A look at “Hakuna Matata,” one of the film’s most iconic songs, is also shown, with Rogen singing along behind the scenes as his character, Pumbaa.
“This has been an incredible experience,” Glover notes of his lead role in the film. “I have never seen anything made this way before, the level of care where everybody knows how much it means.”
Adds Favreau, “We wanted to capture what people’s memories were of this, with both the music and the imagery. I think when you can capture the spirit but show them something new and surprising, this is sort of the best combo.”
The Lion King roars into theaters on July 18.