After the success of last year’s “Jungle Book” remake, Disney and director Jon Favreau now have their sights set on “The Lion King” as their next CGI-meets-live-action offering. (Cinderella, Maleficent, and Beauty and the Beast have also been successfully converted; and The Little Mermaid, Mulan, and Aladdin are among the cartoon classics still headed back to the big screen.)
Having already cast James Earl Jones as Mufasa and Donald Glover as Simba, their next target is none other than singer Beyonce as Nala, Simba’s eventual queen.
Per the report from Variety:
“Insiders stress that the Grammy winner has not made a decision regarding the film yet, as the star is pregnant with twins. But since it’s a voice-acting role, sources say the studio and director will do whatever it takes to accommodate her schedule.”
This potential casting has both pros and cons. Beyonce, of course, has a lovely voice – and if they include new versions of any of Elton John’s classic soundtrack tunes (such as “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” or “The Circle of Life”), she’ll probably ending up singing at least one of them. Also, of course, her ridiculously huge following is bound to bring in droves of viewers to the cinema.
On the flip side, however, is the fact that she’s a passable actress at best. (Voice acting takes much more skill than many people give it credit for.) Then there’s the inevitable backlash that comes with her level of fame. Some people, admittedly including myself, are simply tired of her. She’s massively overexposed, and many will hear this news and roll their eyes while muttering “Ugh, her AGAIN?” And the thought of her hollow remakes of Sir Elton’s classics brings an involuntary shudder.
And it’s a valid argument. There are many more capable voice actresses out there. And while I commend Disney for their determination to have a predominantly black cast for the African adventure, I’m quite sure there are more qualified candidates. They simply want to cash in on her fame, because her fans will raise ticket sales.
So, what do you think? Is this a good or a bad move by Disney? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!