On Tuesday night, the stars gathered in Los Angeles for the world premiere of Disney's The Lion King, a photorealistic reimagining of the classic animated film. Director Jon Favreau put together an absolutely stellar cast for the movie, full of popular actors that can not only turn in wonderful vocal performances, but also sing like no one else. Beyonce Knowles-Carter and Donald Glover (also known as Childish Gambino) play the film's two leads, Simba and Nala, allowing real-life musicians to perform the iconic songs we all know and love. As it turns out, they aren't the only two award-winning singers appearing in The Lion King. Beloved hip-hop artist and philanthropist Chance the Rapper also has a role in the film.
Chance was never included in any of the cast lists for The Lion King so far, and there wasn't any mention of his inclusion at any point. However, Chance attended Tuesday's premiere, and he confirmed in an interview that he has a small role in the film.
"Donald Glover called me. I was not in that movie," Chance told Variety on the red carpet. "Donald and Jon Favreau, the director, are really close, obviously from this film. He told Jon early on that I was like the Lion King aficionado, which I am, and so Jon would have me come through and do nostalgic consulting. So like, telling him if the movie was too off, which it never was, it's been amazing from the jump. And one day Donald called me and was like, 'Yeah, would you wanna maybe go in and record some lines for a new character?' And I was like, 'Yes. Yes, Donald. Thank you, Donald.' And so yeah, he's the man. And Jon Favreau's the man."
It seems odd that Chance's name hasn't come up throughout the marketing of The Lion King, considering his massive popularity and name recognition. But seeing as how he apparently has a small role, and it belongs to a completely new character, it does seem like the type of thing the production would keep secret until the film's release.
Are you looking forward to Disney's new take on The Lion King? What kind of animal do you think Chance the Rapper is voicing? Let us know in the comments!
Disney's The Lion King arrives in theaters on July 19th.