Disney’s live-action remakes of their classic animated films have generally been met with a mixed reaction—anywhere from joy to confusion to anger. But when the announcement of the official cast of Lion King was made public, there was only joy.

First, James Earl Jones, the OG Mufasa, is reprising the same role he played in the original Lion King, which quite naturally makes those of us who watched it on VHS happy. To replace the late Robert Guillaume was a tall task, but I believe that John Kani, as evidenced by his work as T’Chaka in Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, is certainly capable of reminding us—as only Rafiki—can to “learn from it, or run from it.” Beyonce Knowles-Carter had been long rumored to be involved in Lion King, and the confirmation of her role as Nala only served to send the Internet into the stratosphere.

Director Jon Favreau previewed the film over the summer at D23, and the reception of the brief glimpse into what Lion King’s live-action will look like only serves to increase the buzz that this film will continue to receive the closer we get to 2019. On the heels of Black Panther, this cast has a lot of Black big names attached to it such as Donald Glover, Alfre Woodard, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Florence Kasumba, and Keegan-Michael Key.

Disney’s Cast Announcement Photo

We can’t wait to see the King, slated for Summer 2019.

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