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Beyonce, James Earl Jones, John Kani set for 'The Lion King' remake

South African actor John Kani will play the role of Rafiki.

FILE: US singer Beyonce. Picture: AFP

NEW YORK - Beyonce, actor James Earl Jones and comedian John Oliver are joining the cast of Walt Disney’s new live-action film version of the The Lion King, the studio said.

Directed by Jon Favreau, the movie follows the storyline of the 1994 animated film, in which a young lion named Simba grows up on the African savanna after his uncle Scar conspires to ursurp his father Mufasa’s place as king.

Jones reprises his role as Mufasa, while the young Simba is voiced by Donald Glover, who recently starred in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Chiwetel Ejiofor, lead actor in Twelve Years A Slave, takes the role of the villainous Scar.

South African actor John Kani will play the role of Rafiki.

Beyonce plays Simba’s childhood friend and love interest Nala, while Golden Globe-winning actress Alfre Woodard voices the character of Simba’s mother Sarabi.

Comedian Seth Rogen takes on the character of Simba’s warthog friend Pumbaa, while Oliver plays Zazu, the hornbill adviser to Mufasa.

“It is a director’s dream to assemble a talented team like this to bring this classic story to life,” said Favreau, who has also directed Disney’s The Jungle Book live-action remake, which saw actors interacting with characters enhanced by computer-generated imagery.

The film is expected to hit US theatres on 19 July, 2019.

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