Dream Big: Jon Favreau Wants Beyoncé to do The Lion King


To complete the cast of Jon Favreau’s The Lion King, megastar Beyoncé is the top of the director’s wish list to be the voice of Nala.

Thanks to the outstanding success of last year’s The Jungle Book and this year’s Beauty and the Beast, Disney’s not backing down from remaking all the beloved classics. Because they rarely miss a beat, they feel comfortable telling people what they want as opposed to asking people what they want. Personally, I find it especially astounding that their new renaissance will be a spin on the old renaissance that started in 1989 with The Little Mermaid and ended in 1999 with Tarzan.

Many of the films released over the course of those ten years are being remade into live-action counterparts. Of course, there’s Cinderella and Maleficent as well. But those didn’t make nearly as much money worldwide as The Jungle Book. Here’s the handy breakdown, but note that Alice in Wonderland‘s at the top. Obviously, that gave them the green to create a sequel. However, that was a miserable flop.

So we look to the live-action future: The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Mulan.

Currently, The Lion King shows the most promise with director Jon Favreau and a nearly complete cast that includes Donald Glover and James Earl Jones. Favreau already proved how well he does with animals and that particular brand of animation. Plus, his humor’s usually spot on as long as everything else falls into place.

Though, I think he’ll have a particularly hard time nabbing Beyoncé for his film. Variety reports that the singer hasn’t made a decision yet, but come on. Any agreement will boil down to money. As we saw in the case of Emma Watson, Disney doesn’t like to cough up a lot of money. Especially for someone who doesn’t have the box office numbers to back them up. Make no mistake, Beyoncé has a powerful name. But her brand doesn’t carry as much as one might expect, especially when she’s not in front of the camera. Or in the studio.

What am I talking about? Well, let’s look at some of her past projects. Epic grossed $107 million domestically. Obsessed made even less at $68.2 million domestically. Even if you only compare them to other films in their category, still not good. Fun fact: her best film at the box office is Austin Powers.

So while her voice is phenomenal, the Lemonade star probably comes with a price tag that Disney may not want to pay for. Plus, there’s plenty of other talent out there for a cheaper price. Favreau may consider Beyoncé ideal, but I’m sure he has a back up plan. Unless she’s feeling super maternal and wants to do it for her kids, like Donnie Yen did Star Wars.

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No release date is set for The Lion King but production reportedly begins in May.