Superstar Shah Rukh Khan and his son Aryan Khan will be lending their voice for King Mufasa and his son Simba respectively in the Hindi version of Disney’s upcoming live-action film The Lion King. The father-son-duo earlier collaborated 15 years back to voice the lead characters in 2004 animated film The Incredibles.
“The Lion King is that one movie that my entire family loves the most and it holds a very special place in our hearts. As a father, I can totally relate with Mufasa and the endearing relationship he shares with his son – Simba,” Shah Rukh said in a statement. The legacy of Lion King is timeless, and being a part of this iconic re-imagining with my son Aryan makes it extra special for me. We are most excited that AbRam is going to watch this,” he added.
On pulling off the casting coup, Bikram Duggal, Head – Studio Entertainment, Disney India, said: “The Lion King is a classic that epitomises Disney’s prowess of bringing heartwarming stories that are timeless and transcend generations. Now with the re-imagined version, our aim is to reach out to a wider audience; introducing the tale about a pride of lions to a whole new generation of audiences while forging a deeper connect with existing fans. We cannot imagine having a better voice cast than Shah Rukh Khan and his son Aryan to bring the characters of Mufasa and Simba to life in Hindi.”
The announcement comes a day after Shah Rukh took to Twitter to share a photograph of him and his son sporting blue cricket jerseys with their backs towards the camera. The Chennai Express star’s jersey read Mufasa and Aryan’s read Simba.
Directed by The Jungle Book fame director Jon Favreau, The Lion King is one of the most-anticipated films of recent times.
The original film, considered an animation masterpiece, was released on June 15, 1994, and was not just widely lauded critically, but received commercial success as well.
Favreau has stayed true to the classic story of Simba and used pioneering filmmaking techniques to bring the iconic characters to the big screen in a whole new way.
The Lion King will release in India on July 19 in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.
Donald Glover is leading the cast as young Lion Simba, while Beyonce, who is credited in the trailer with her last name, Knowles-Carter, voices Nala, a childhood friend and later love interest of Simba.
Glover and Knowles-Carter are also joined by James Earl Jones who reprises his role from the 1994 animated film as Simba’s father Mufasa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Simba’s villainous uncle Scar, Alfre Woodard as Simba’s mother Sarabi, with child actor JD McCrary playing the young version of Simba.