Scar May Not Sing “Be Prepared” in Disney’s 2019 ‘The Lion King’

With Disney’s trailer for 2019’s The Lion King taking over the internet, it’s time to talk about the stellar cast. While James Earl Jones will reprise his role as Mufasa, a new actor will take on the voice of Scar.

Chiwetel Ejiofor
Chiwetel Ejiofor | Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb

Jeremy Irons initially voiced scar. You may recognize Jeremy Irons as the new Alfred in DC’s Batman vs. Superman; however, he has a very accomplished film history trailing him. Irons starred in several major blockbusters throughout the 1990s, including The House of the Spirits, Die Hard, Lolita, and Damage. While his deep and penetrating vocals were an exquisite match for Scar, as well as his famous hit “Be Prepared,” he will not be returning to the role.

Chiwetel Ejiofor will voice Scar in Disney’s Remake of ‘The Lion King’

Chiwetel Ejiofor is widely known for starring in Doctor Strange and 12 Years a Slave, the latter of which earned him a Bafta Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. With a strong presence and a deep voice, he should be a perfect fit for a new and scary Scar.

Unlike the animated original, the new live-action The Lion King seems like it might be a little bit darker, and maybe, slightly more representative of just how dire the circumstances were under Scar’s leadership. With several award nominations under his belt and an impressively diverse acting portfolio, we’re sure Chiwetel Ejiofor will rise to the challenge.

Chiwetel Ejiofor recently made his directorial debut with The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, which he also stars in alongside Maxwell Simba, Aïssa Maïga, and Joseph Marcel. The film is available for streaming on Netflix and currently boasts an 86% critics score on rotten tomatoes, so it’s definitely worth your time.

Chiwetel Ejiofor, an accomplished actor, successfully beginning his transition into directing and behind the scenes work, definitely retains the ability to deliver a convincing Scar (in terms of harnessing the character with his voice alone); however, it appears he won’t have to put his singing chops to the test.

Why Chiwetel Ejiofor  won’t sing “Be Prepared” in 2019’s ‘The Lion King’ (supposedly)

According to recent reports, many numbers have been cut from the original version of The Lion King in the live-action remake. According to Konbini.com, one of the numbers that will not be making it to the screen is “Be Prepared.” However, other sources have stated that the song will be included, so still no confirmation on either side; however, more than one source has reported that the number will be cut.

Given that all villains usually have their one song in a Disney movie – think “Poor Unfortunate Souls” in The Little Mermaid, “Mother Knows Best” in Tangled, or “Gaston” in Beauty and the Beast – this comes as quite a shock, and many fans are not too happy about it.

According to Konbini, most of the original songs will not make the cut, likely to give the movie a more serious tone. The question is: will fans appreciate the change or just wish the songs were left alone come opening night?

If you’re wondering if this decision, at all, came down to Ejiofor’s singing ability, think again. Chiwetel Ejiofor sang “Whatever Lola Wants” in the film version of Kinky Boots, and while he may not be Pavarotti, the man can carry a tune, and that’s all that is really required for Scar’s singing portion. It’s not about Ejiofor; it’s about the man behind the production: Jon Favreau.

Anyone who watched Jon Favreau’s remake of The Jungle Book shouldn’t be too surprised, as many songs were cut from that original movie as well; however, cutting “Be Prepared” does feel a bit blasphemous, especially to fans of the original. Cutting “Be Prepared” to keep the film darker, more serious, and graver seems like a poor decision, as it is still meant to be a family movie, and adults (who were kids when the first one came out) would likely prefer to see the song performed, as it works to further characterize Scar.