The First Trailer for the Live-Action 'Lion King' Starring Beyoncé and Donald Glover Is Here

The first trailer for the live-action remake of The Lion King has been released. The new adaptation will star Beyoncé and Donald Glover, as well as original cast member James Earl Jones, who is reprising his role as Mufasa.

Disney has struck gold over the last few years by releasing live-action remakes of its animated classics and, in 2019, it will release a new version of its most successful animated feature of the '90s, The Lion King (opens in new tab)

The latest live-action remake (opens in new tab) from the studio isn't really a live-action remake at all, since as real as the animals in Jon Favreau's take on the story look, they're still animated. It's worth noting this up front because honestly, once you're watching the movie, you'll probably forget that Disney (opens in new tab) didn't just tame and train a group of really emotive lions (opens in new tab) and meerkats and warthogs and hyenas to bring this story to life.

Favreau showed off this photorealistic computer animation in 2016's  (opens in new tab)The Jungle Book (opens in new tab) (which was technically a live-action remake because a real human boy played Mowgli, but the bulk of the film's characters—you know, the jungle animals—were CGI) and it might look even better this time around.

The trailer, which is narrated by Mufasa, will give fans of the original movie chills. Why? Well, James Earl Jones, who iconically voiced the OG king of the Pride Lands in the 1994 film, is reprising his role in the 2019 remake. And yes, he's still got it: 

Jones' voice isn't the only nostalgic thing about the new trailer. The whole thing is essentially a shot-by-shot remake of the 1994 film's trailer. Seriously, watch the video below:

See more

This isn't a new marketing strategy for Disney (opens in new tab). The studio also did a shot-by-shot copycat trailer for 2017's Beauty and the Beast remake starring Emma Watson (opens in new tab):

And, to a slightly lesser extent (emphasis on slightly) with the first trailer for its upcoming live-action Aladdin adaptation (opens in new tab):

The Lion King stars Donald Glover, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter (opens in new tab), Chiwetel Ejiofor, Billy Eichner, Seth Rogen, and John Oliver and is set to be released July 19, 2019.

Kayleigh Roberts
Weekend Editor

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.