John Oliver has made a name for himself by breaking down political and social issues into simple, often hilarious terms on his HBO talk show Last Week Tonight. His next career move, however, will be completely different — and yet, weirdly appropriate for the comedian. According to MovieFone, Oliver has joined the cast of The Lion King, the upcoming live-action adaptation of Disney's 1994 animated film.
His role is for the birds — literally. The actor, who was a correspondent for The Daily Show and an actor on Community before scoring his own talk show, will voice Zazu in the new movie, slated to be released on July 19, 2019. For those who can't place the character, Zazu is the blue bird who acts as Mufasa's right-hand (or is it paw?) man and who makes sure that Simba doesn't get into too much trouble. Basically, Zazu is the voice of reason on Pride Rock — not unlike how Oliver breaks things down on his talk show. Of course, the accent doesn't hurt either — in the original film, Zazu is voiced by Rowan Atkinson and also speaks with an English accent.
The casting is just one of many reasons to get excited about the new movie. Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner are reportedly in talks to play Pumbaa and Timon, respectively. Donald Glover — who recently appeared in Spider-Man: Homecoming — will voice Simba in the new venture, and it's who may be lending her voice to his love interest that is the most exciting news of them all. According to Variety, Beyoncé is in talks to star in the new film as Nala. (If only the live-action version of Aladdin was having as easy of a time finding a killer cast — according to The Hollywood Reporter, the new movie is having a particularly difficult time finding its leads.)
With Oliver as Zazu, the new film is shaping up — and I couldn't be more thrilled to see my childhood fave come to life with some of the best in front of the camera.