Having returned as Darth Vader in 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the legendary James Earl Jones is set to reprise his other iconic voice role this year for Disney with his portrayal as Mufasa in the upcoming animated remake The Lion King.
Speaking to Empire, director Jon Favreau (The Jungle Book) has revealed why he wanted Jones to return as Mufasa, describing his involvement with the film as a passing of the torch from the 1994 animated classic to the new movie.
“I see it as carrying the legacy across,” said Favreau. “Just hearing him say the lines is really moving and surreal. The timbre of his voice has changed. That served the role well because he sounds like a king who’s ruled for a long time.”
Directed by Jon Favreau (The Jungle Book), The Lion King features a voice cast that includes Donald Glover (Solo: A Star Wars Story) as Simba, Beyonce (Dreamgirls) as Nala, Billy Eichner (Billy on the Street) as Timon, Seth Rogen (Sausage Party) as Pumbaa, John Oliver (Last Week Tonight) as Zazu, Chiwetel Ejiofor (Doctor Strange) as Scar, James Earl Jones (The Lion King) as Mufasa, Alfre Woodard (Luke Cage) as Sarabi, John Kani (Black Panther) as Rafiki, JD McCrary (Vital Signs) as Young Simba, Shahadi Wright Joseph (Hairspray Live) as Young Nala, Eric André (Man Seeking Woman) as Azizi, Florence Kasumba (Black Panther) as Shenzi, Keegan-Michael Key (The Predator) as Kamari and Amy Sedaris (BoJack Horseman) as a new character. It is set for release on July 19th.