Just moments after Disney announced the release date for director Jon Favreau‘s The Lion King, the studio also announced the two actors who will provide the voices of Timon and Pumbaa, the meerkat and warthog duo that help Simba learn about Hakuna Matata.
According to new reports, Billy on the Street host Billy Eichner and This Is The End‘s Seth Rogen will now voice the two. They will be joining the previously announcedDonald Glover, who voices Simba, and James Earl Jones, who once again voices Mufasa. Beyonce Knowlesis in talks to voice Nala. More on the story below.
THR says Eichner will voice Timon, while Rogen will voice Pumbaa. Seems about right. Now the bigger question is if the two will be able to carry a tune. They certainly have the energy and comedic timing to be a Timon and Pumbaa, but I question if they can sing “Hakuna Matata” just as good as Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella, who voiced Timon and Pumbaa in the original animated movie.
For those that are not familiar with the song or haven’t seen the movie, Hakuna Matata is a phrase that means “No Worries” when translated from Swahili to English. The entire sequence was a rambunctious, energetic ball of fun that truly lived up to the phrase. So if the song is going to be in the film or used as an after credit song, then Eichner and Rogen really have to step up their singing game.
This wouldn’t be the first time that Rogen has done a voice over role. Those with sharp ears may recognize him in films like Kung Fu Panda and Monsters and Aliens. He most recently lent his voice to the raunchy animated comedy, Sausage Party. Eichner is best known his man-on-the-street style interviews in Billy on the Street, where he roams the streets of New York asking strangers outrageous pop culture questions.
The cast is really coming together, and now that Disney has booked a release date, I can only imagine casting for Scar and Zazu will be filled very soon. The question is, who will play these roles? We’ll keep you up to date as the film continues to develop.
The Lion King opens in theaters on July 19, 2019.
Just for fun, check out the video for “Hakuna Matata.” Just don’t blame me if you find yourself singing along to the music.