John Oliver Joins Disney’s Live-Action ‘Lion King’ as Voice of Zazu

Jon Favreau is directing the film which also stars Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, and James Earl Jones

July 10, 2017
Photo: Getty Images

John Oliver has signed on to co-star in Disney’s upcoming live-action reboot of “The Lion King,” according to TheWrap.

The comedian, Emmy-winning late-night host, and former Stern Show guest will lend his voice to the character Zazu—an uptight avian advisor to King Mufasa (voiced by James Earl Jones). The film’s other stars thus far include Donald Glover (voicing Simba), Billy Eichner (Timon), and Stern Show regular Seth Rogen (Pumbaa).

Jon Favreau will direct the film, a CGI remake of Disney’s 1994 classic. In addition to directing all three “Iron Man” movies for the studio, the longtime Stern Show guest struck gold in 2016 with his live-action remake of “The Jungle Book,” which pulled in well over $900 million at the international box office. Favreau’s reimagined “Lion King” will reportedly feature songs from the original, which grossed $968 million worldwide and remains one of the biggest animated films of all time.

Oliver, meanwhile, may be best known for hosting HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” but he’s no stranger to voiceover work either. In addition to having lent his voice to “The Smurfs” film franchise, “The Simpsons,” and “Bob’s Burgers,” he stars alongside Mila Kunis, Jennifer Garner, Matthew Broderick, and Jeffrey Tambor in next year’s animated film “Amusement Park.”

When Oliver made his Stern Show debut in 2014, he and Howard spoke all about his life and career, including getting “discovered” by Ricky Gervais, who ultimately recommended him to Jon Stewart for “The Daily Show.” Look back at their wide-ranging conversation here.

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