‘The Lion King’ Live Action Trailer: Everything We Know About the 2019 Remake

Movie remakes aren’t a new concept. But with the mid-2010s came a seemingly sudden flood of familiar stories being retold and rereleased in Hollywood.

Disney hasn’t been shy about capitalizing on this trend. So far, the live action remakes they have released (beginning with Cinderella in 2015) have been widely praised. The Lion King will likely follow these past successes despite not technically being a live action movie.

Here’s everything Disney’s first teaser trailer reveals about the film, plus the voices you can expect to hear and when the movie will officially release in theaters.

The Lion King 2019 cast: The voices of the pride lands

There’s only one original cast member returning for the remake, which means an almost entirely new cast will voice the characters we all know and love. (Except Scar. We don’t like Scar.) You might recognize some of these names, though.

  • Donald Glover as Simba
  • Beyoncé as Nala
  • Seth Rogen as Pumbaa
  • Billy Eichner as Timon
  • John Oliver as Zazu
  • James Earl Jones as Mufasa

The Lion King live action trailer highlights

The teaser trailer Walt Disney Studios released on Thanksgiving only gives us about a minute and 30 seconds of material to work with. But as usual, they pack enough into this tease to (maybe) hold us over until an official trailer is released probably sometime in early 2019.

Here are a few highlights from the trailer and how they compare to moments from the original film.

  • Everything the light touches — This iconic line from the original film not only made it into the remake, but is also pretty much the first thing we hear when the trailer starts. James Earl Jones’s legendary voice speaking those words still gives me chills every time.
  • “The Circle of Life” — A Lion King trailer wouldn’t be complete without the song that played during the opening of the original movie.
  • Pride Rock — Thanks to the opening scene — which will likely mirror the original almost exactly, because how could it not? — we’ve now caught glimpses of tiny Simba, Rafiki, and some of the animals bowing down to their future king.
  • Simba’s roar — Whether that’s really “the” moment from the end of the movie or not, it’s a powerful one to add to a trailer. In the original film, baby Simba hadn’t really figured out how to roar like his dad. He figures it out by the end. And it’s magical.

As for differences, we already know there’s going to be at least one new character that wasn’t in the original film. But that’s pretty much all we can tell so far. Disney was very purposeful about only including highly recognizable moments from the 1994 film to get fans all aboard the hype train. It worked.

The Lion King 2019 release date

The Lion King 2019

The Lion King 2019 | Disney

In addition to its major Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars releases, Disney will pump out a handful of movies throughout 2019. You might be excited for Avengers: Endgame and Toy Story 4. But if you’ve enjoyed the studio’s live action remakes so far, you’re going to have a spectacular time at the movies next year.

In a span of less than six months, Disney will release a total of three live action remakes of classic animated films: Dumbo in March, Aladdin in May, and The Lion King in July. Be prepared, because it’s unlikely these types of releases are slowing down anytime soon.

The Lion King comes to theaters on July 19, 2019.