Donald Glover to Play Simba in Live Action ‘Lion King’

Director Jon Favreau shares casting news of “Atlanta” star as Simba and James Earl Jones as Mufasa on Twitter

Donald Glover Simba
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“Atlanta” star and creator Donald Glover will play Simba in Disney’s live action “Lion King,” The Wrap has learned.

The casting news was broken Friday afternoon by “Lion King” director Jon Favreau, who shared it with followers in Twitter.

The director also revealed that James Earl Jones will reprise his role as Mufasa, the father role he voiced in the 1994 animated original.

After the success of Favreau’s “The Jungle Book,” the director is teaming up with Disney to create a live-action version of “The Lion King.”

1994’s “The Lion King” is one of the biggest animated films of all time, having grossed $968.8 million globally over its lifetime. It won an Academy Award for the original song, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” as well as its original score by Hans Zimmer.

Meanwhile, “The Jungle Book” was also a smash hit, earning $965.8 million worldwide after it hit theaters last April. Other Disney live-action films based on iconic properties include “Maleficent,” “Cinderella” and next year’s “Beauty and the Beast,” starring Emma Watson as Belle.

Jeff Nathanson is writing the script on the live-action “Lion King,” which is considered one of the pinnacles of Disney’s animated movies.

Last fall, Favreau was recruited to return to the Marvel Universe in upcoming “Spider-Man: Homecoming” as Happy Hogan.

Glover also has been cast as Lando Calrissian in Lucasfilm’s upcoming “Star Wars” spinoff focusing on a young Han Solo.

TheWrap reported in August that the filmmakers were looking to cast a young Lando, a fan favorite and gambling enthusiast who appeared in “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi,” for the film centered around Solo that’s currently in development. Billy Dee Williams played Lando in the original film, and he reprised the role in the “Star Wars Rebels” episodes “Idiot’s Array” and “Siege of Lothal.”

No release date has been announced yet for “The Lion King.”

Glover is currently the creator and star of the FX show “Atlanta.” He is represented by WME.

See Favreau’s tweets below.