John Oliver will play Zazu in the live-action remake of Disney's The Lion King.
John Oliver will play Zazu in the live-action remake of Disney's The Lion King.
(© David Gordon)

It was announced yesterday that political comedian John Oliver, best known as the host of HBO's Last Week Tonight, will voice the role of Zazu in Disney's upcoming live-action remake of The Lion King. He fills the shoes of Rowan Atkinson, who voiced the lovable red-billed hornbill in the original 1994 animated film.

Oliver joins a cast that will also feature Donald Glover as the voice of Simba, Seth Rogen as the voice of Pumbaa, Billy Eichner as the voice of Timon, and James Earl Jones reprising the role of Mufasa, which he also voiced in the original. Oliver has previously voiced characters in The Smurfs, The Smurfs 2, Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja, The Simpsons, Danger Mouse, and Bob's Burgers.

Jeff Nathanson (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) pens the script for the live-action adaptation, which is being produced by Jon Favreau and Jeffrey Silver.

The Oscar-nominated 1994 animated feature version of The Lion King has grossed more than $968 million worldwide and inspired the long-running Tony-nominated musical, directed by Julie Taymor. The live-action reboot, directed by Favreau, is slated for a July 19, 2019, release.