Queen Bey to Play Queen Nala in Disney’s New ‘Lion King’

Beyoncé will voice the role of Nala in Jon Favreau's 2019 remake.

The voice cast for Jon Favreau’s new Lion King remake – which you’ll find various outlets of supposed repute referring to as “live action,” which is hilarious, as though we’ll be watching real singing and dancing lions and hyenas and meerkats and not computer-generated cartoons, anyway – has been rolling out slowly all year, with Donald Glover (Simba) and James Earl Jones (reprising the role of Mustafa) announced back in February, Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen (as TImon and Pumbaa) in April, John Oliver (Zazu) in July, and Alfre Woodard (Sarabi) and John Kani (Rafiki) in August.

But one key role was still open – that of Nala, Simba’s childhood playmate and eventual queen. Variety reported clear back in March that Favreau’s first choice was Beyoncé, but her busy schedule was proving tough to navigate. It apparently took them eight months to figure out (which seems like a long time to schedule a day or two reading lines in a recording booth, though hey, we’re talking about Bey), but last night, the singer/actress confirmed her casting on Facebook.

Also newly announced, and nearly (just, maybe?) as interesting: Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, and Keegan-Michael Key as Kamari.

The film, directed by Favreau (who also helmed Disney’s Jungle Book remake and the first two Iron Man movies) and scripted by Jeff Nathanson (Catch Me If You Can), is out on – Good God, July 19th 2019, as if we won’t all be dead by then. Anyway, circle of life!