09/28/2016 AT 03:45 PM EDT
A brand-spanking new version of The Lion King is officially on the horizon. On Wednesday, Walt Disney Studios announced that the beloved 1994 animated film will be reimagined as a live-action (meaning CGI-filled) adventure lead by The Jungle Book director Jon Favreau.
“The Lion King builds on Disney’s success of reimagining its classics for a contemporary audience with films like Maleficent, Cinderella, and The Jungle Book,” Disney said in a statement. “The upcoming Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson as Belle, is already one of the most anticipated movies of 2017. Like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King will include songs from the animated film. Disney and Favreau are also in development on a sequel to The Jungle Book. No release date has been announced for either film.”
While the voice actors behind the impeccably cast 1994 original will always have a special place in our hearts, we can’t help but wonder who will be taking the reins in the latest iteration of the treasured tale. Naturally, we have a few opinions about who Disney should be sending to Pride Rock:
Adult Nala: Lupita Nyong’o
Audiences are sure to feel the love if Nyong’o takes over as the brave, loyal lioness. The Oscar winner proved she can bring fierce life to a four-legged creature as wolf Raksha in The Jungle Book. And if her turn as Maz Kanata in Star Wars: The Force Awakens wasn’t enough to convince you she’s got the CGI thing down, well then we just can’t help you.
Adult Simba: John Boyega
David M. Benett / WireImage
As The Force Awakens‘ renegade Stormtrooper Finn, Boyega showed the world he can handle the pressure of a highly anticipated role and deliver a spot-on American accent to boot. We’re willing to bet Boyega could once again defy expectations as a key player in a cherished franchise.
Young Simba: Miles Brown
Living up to the standards set by Jonathan Taylor Thomas won’t be easy, but we think the adorable black-ish star is up to the task. He’s been in the spotlight since becoming a 4-year-old hip-hop dance sensation and has since been flexing his comedic muscles on the Emmy-nominated sitcom.
Zazu: Hugh Laurie
Laurie has the perfect mix of dignified pomp and biting sarcasm to play Mufasa’s stressed-out right-hand man. Think about it: how great would it be to hear Dr. House sing about a lovely bunch of coconuts?
Rafiki: Forest Whitaker
We’d love to see what kind of spin The Last King of Scotland Oscar-winner would put on the wise baboon’s Jamaican-ish accent, and imbue Rafiki’s koans with the perfect mix of levity and gravitas.
Young Nala: Millie Bobby Brown
The charming 12-year-old captured hearts as mysterious wonder girl Eleven in Stranger Things, so there’s no doubt she’d ease right into playing the pint-sized version of everyone’s favorite lioness. Apart from her undeniable acting prowess, Brown already has Nala’s playful spirit and instant lovability down pat.
Timon: H. Jon Benjamin
It’d be great to see a deadpan twist on the manic take Nathan Lane gave Timon. So we’ve picked the hilarious Archer and Bob’s Burgers lead, whose impassive drawl would act as a the perfect foil to …
Pumbaa: Patton Oswalt
… Ratatouille pro Oswalt, who would flawlessly complete the warthog/meerkat duo. He’ll obviously bring the funny, and is dripping with likability to boot.
Scar: Idris Elba
Mike Marsland / WireImage
Elba has taken on more than his fair share of villainous roles in films like Star Trek Beyond, and already has an “evil feline” role on his résumé (The Jungle Book). So the actor’s deep, intense voice would definitely make for a terrifying Scar, destined to haunt the dreams of a whole new generation.
Shenzi: Kristen Schaal
Just imagine: a hyena with Louise Belcher’s always-on-10 voice. Schaal’s voiceover experience includes everything from Bob’s Burgers and Archer to Despicable Me 2, and her expertise would be an invaluable addition to the band of second rate evil-doers.
Mufasa: James Earl Jones
You can’t mess with perfection. To us, Jones will always be the voice of the ill-fated monarch-turned-mystical-cloud. Excuse us, we’re getting chills just thinking about it.