After the success of The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast remakes, Disney revealed in 2016 that it was working on a live-action “reimagining” of The Lion King.

The Jungle Book director Jon Favreau was handed the reins to deliver the new version of the beloved Disney classic and, to avoid any worries, it was confirmed early on that the remake would feature songs from the original animation.

Now that Disney has surprisingly revealed the first trailer for the reimagining, here’s everything you need to know about what will surely be one of 2019’s biggest movies.

For a teaser trailer, the first look at the new adaptation featured a fair bit of footage, focusing on the iconic moment that sees Rafiki introduce the future king, Simba, to the animals of the African savannah.

The only speaking voice you hear in the trailer, though, is James Earl Jones as he reprises his role as Mufasa, so we’ll have to wait and see how the rest of the new cast measures up.

The Lion King cast: Who’s in it?

Alongside Jones, it was confirmed in February 2017 that Donald Glover would be voicing Simba in the movie, with the first behind-the-scenes photo showing Glover with Favreau.

Then came the mother of all cast announcements in November 2017 as the heavily-rumoured casting of Beyoncé as Nala was confirmed, along with a whole bunch of exciting names.

The amazing cast in full is:

  • Donald Glover as Simba
  • Beyoncé as Nala
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar
  • James Earl Jones as Mufasa
  • Seth Rogen as Pumbaa
  • Billy Eichner as Timon
  • John Oliver as Zazu
  • Keegan-Michael Key as Kamari
  • John Kani as Rafiki
  • Alfre Woodard as Sarabi
  • Florence Kasumba as Shenzi
  • Eric Andre as Azizi
  • JD McCrary as young Simba
  • Shahadi Wright Joseph as young Nala

Disney confirmed that the movie will be released on July 19, 2019 in UK and US cinemas, marking 25 years since the original was released in June 1994.

Of course, that won’t be the first Disney remake to be released in 2019 as that honour goes to Tim Burton’s Dumbo which is out on March 19 and is also followed by Guy Ritchie’s live-action Aladdin offering which is set to hit cinemas on May 24.

The Lion King will be released in cinemas on July 19, 2019.

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