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Beyonce to lead star-studded cast for live-action Lion King

Beyonce, Chiwetel Ejiofor and comedian John Oliver are among the star-studded cast announced for a live-action remake of Disney's Lion King.

The American singer will play Nala, the love interest of protagonist Simba.

The film, to be directed by Jon Favreau, is scheduled for release in the summer of 2019.

Rumours had been circulating that Beyonce had been offered the role since March, and she confirmed them by sharing the cast list on Facebook.

Simba will be played by Donald Glover, while Oscar-nominated Ejiofor plays Simba's villainous uncle Scar.

James Earl Jones will reprise his role as Mufasa, after lending his voice to the lion in the 1994 animated version.

Alfre Woodard will play Sarabi, Simba's mother, to the young lion played by JD McCrary.

John Oliver, known for his satirical programme Last Week Tonight, will play Zazu, who Rowan Atkinson voiced more than two decades ago.

Rafiki will be played by John Kani.

Cheeky Pumbaa will be played by Seth Rogen with Billy Eichner playing opposite as Timon.

The hyenas are played by Florence Kasumba as Shenzi while Eric Andre plays Azizi and Keegan-Michael Key plays Kamari.

Actor-turned-director Favreau was also behind the live-action remake of The Jungle Book.

In a statement, Favreau said: "It is a director's dream to assemble a talented team like this to bring this classic story to life."

Eichner tweeted: "I'm BEYOND excited to be joining Donald Glover, Beyoncé and more in Disney's THE LION KING. With me and Seth Rogen as Timon and Pumba!"

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