John Oliver to take on role of Zazu in live-action Lion King remake

Ben Arnold
Oliver… is signed up to play Zazu in the live-action remake of The Lion King – Credit: HBO/Disney

The live-action remake of ‘The Lion King’ has found its pompous hornbill – in US talk show host John Oliver.

Birmingham-born Oliver, host of HBO’s hit show ‘Last Week Tonight’, will take on the role of Zazu, made famous by Rowan Atkinson in the original 1996 animation.

The straight-laced right hand and political adivsor to King Mufasa, he’s mocked and ignored by the young Simba, and best known for his flustered performance in the musical number ‘I Just Can’t Wait To Be King’.

It’s not the first time Oliver has lent his voice to an animated movie – he played Vanity Smurf in both ‘The Smurfs’ and ‘The Smurfs 2’.

He joins an already impressive cast on the movie, which will find ‘Community’ and ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’s Donald Glover taking on the role of Simba.

(Credit: Reuters)

James Earl Jones, meanwhile, will reprise his role as Mufasa, while Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner will voice Timon and Pumbaa.

Behind the camera will be Jon Favreau, with a release date slated for July 19, 2019.

It will follow Disney’s roaringly successful live-action take on ‘The Jungle Book’ from last year.

Also helmed by Favreau, it hauled in just shy of $1 billion worldwide.

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