By Umberto Gonzalez
Chiwetel Ejiofor is in talks to voice the villainous Scar in the live-action Lion King remake, insiders exclusively told TheWrap.
Ejiofor would join Donald Glover as lion cub Simba, James Earl Jones as his father Mufasa, and (as TheWrap first reported) John Oliver as Zazu. He was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for 2013’s 12 Years a Slave.
Jeremy Irons voiced the lion in the original 1994 Lion King. Last month, a representative for Hugh Jackman shot down speculation that the Wolverine star would play Scar, telling TheWrap that there was “absolutely no truth” to it.
The original Lion King is one of the biggest animated films of all time: It grossed $968.8 million globally and won an Academy Award for the original song, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” as well as its original score by Hans Zimmer.
Earlier this month at Disney’s D23 presentation, Jon Favreau, who is directing the new film, surprised fans with a first glimpse at how the famous “Circle of Life” opening from the original Lion King would look in his new version. The brief clip featured photo-realistic CGI animals similar to those in Favreau’s remake of The Jungle Book, which earned an Oscar for Best Visual Effects.
The clip ended with the iconic image of Rafiki presenting the newborn Simba to the animals of the Pridelands.
Jeff Nathanson is writing the script on the live-action Lion King, which is slated for release on July 19, 2019.