The main reason why the impending live-action remake of The Lion King is so hotly anticipated, save for the fact that it was directed by the accomplished Jon Favreau (who brought The Jungle Book to glorious life in 2016), is the impeccable voice cast that was assembled.
While it’s very easy to focus all the hype on Beyoncé voicing Nala, Donald Glover voicing Simba and James Earl Jones returning to voice Mufasa, the most inspired casting choice is actually Oscar-nominated thespian, Chiwetel Ejiofor voicing the iconic villain, Scar.
Taking over from the Jeremy Irons, who voiced the chief protagonist in the 1994 animated film, would be an impossible task for many actors, but Ejiofor is too talented to fret. In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the actor hinted at an exciting direction he took for the character.
Speaking about his more “psychologically possessed” and “brutalised” version of Scar, Ejiofor said:
“There’s something quite interesting in knowing that you’re always holding a lethal capacity.
At the end of it, you’re playing somebody who has the capacity to turn everything on its head in a split second with outrageous acts of violence.”
The British-Nigerian actor also spoke about the importance of these iconic characters being played by mostly actors of colour, as the original animated film was famously criticised for having mostly white actors voice the main characters.
About feeling a connection to the part, Ejiofor concluded:
“Obviously I feel very connected to anything African, because of my heritage, and that’s why it’s a very special experience to me.”
The Lion King is set to hit theatres in July.
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