It looks as though renaissance man Donald Glover has added another part to his packed schedule, as he’s been announced to play the role of Simba in the live-action remake of The Lion King. The news was announced via Twitter, as director Jon Favreau (Iron Man, The Jungle Book) posted a picture of Glover with the caption “I just can’t wait to be king,” in reference to the tune from the classic 1994 version.
There was also a #Simba, which all but confirmed the exciting news as the film’s first major casting announcement. Its unclear whether Glover will play both young and old versions of Simba, or whether he will simply voice act, but the role is certain to expose him to a whole new audience.
Check out the Tweet below.
Glover and Favreau first met at The Hollywood Reporter‘s discussion on creativity last December, where the director revealed that his son is a big fan of Glover’s music. “By the way, full disclosure,” he said, “I see your face every day when I wake up my 15-year-old son because on his door is a portrait of you.”
2017 has been a firtuitous year for Glover overall. The busy entertainer has already released the album Awaken, My Love! under his rap moniker Childish Gambino, and won two Golden Globes for his F/X show Atlanta, taking home Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical TV Series and Best Musical or Comedy TV Series. Critics hailed Atlanta, which Glover, wrote, acted and directed, for its “eccentric brand of humor– as well as a number of timely, trenchant observations.” Glover is also slated to appear in two other Disney franchises, playing a minor role in this summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming and young Lando Calrissian in 2018’s untitled Han Solo movie.
The Lion King does not currently have a release date.
UPDATE: Minutes after the Glover announcement, Jon Favreau tweeted a photo confirming James Earl Jones will return as Mufasa, Simba’s father and the leader of the lion herd. Jones voiced the character in the original animated film.