Ever since the success of Jon Favreau's live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book, word on its spiritual successor, a remake of The Lion King, has been scarce. The latest casting news, however, proves that the movie is moving along nicely, and has given fans something to be excited about. John Oliver, who has become a household name thanks to his HBO show Last Week Tonight, has recently been confirmed to be voicing Zazu in the upcoming retelling of the Disney classic.
As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, the host of the satirical talk show will be voicing the red-billed hornbill who serves as an adviser to King Mufasa. Oliver will be taking over the role that is synonymous with Rowan Atkinson, but Zazu has also been voiced by Edward Hibbert and Jeff Bennett throughout the character's existence.
Zazu is known for his sarcastic quips and uptight personality, so Oliver's casting seems like a perfect choice. Both share a dry sense of humor that relies heavily on sarcastic wit, something fans will expect to see plenty of throughout the live-action adaptation.
Zazu may be Oliver's biggest role to date, but it's not his first time voicing a character. In fact, the comedian has an impressive resume when it comes to voice acting.
Prior to The Lion King, Oliver voiced Vanity Smurf in the live-action interpretation of The Smurfs. He has also shared his vocal talents on animation favorites such as Bob's Burgers, The Simpsons, Robot Chicken, Gravity Falls and Rick and Morty. If you'd like to see his greatest moments as Dr Xenon Bloom in Adult Swim's sci-fi animation, the studio has compiled his best lines:
So, Oliver is clearly a fantastic addition to the film's line-up. He joins a growing list of talent that includes James Earl Jones, who will reprise his role as Mufasa, Donald Glover as Simba, Billy Eichner as Timon, and Seth Rogen as Pumba.
Jon Favreau will direct the movie back-to-back with The Jungle Book 2, so The Lion King is expected to hit cinemas sometime in 2019.
What do you think of John Oliver as Zazu? Share your thoughts in the comments below.