Hollywood Movies

‘Lion King’ Live-to-Film Hollywood Bowl Concert to Feature Jeremy Irons, Nathan Lane, Jennifer Hudson, Billy Eichner and More (EXCLUSIVE)

April 15, 20243 Mins Read

The 30th anniversary of the original animated film version of “The Lion King” will be celebrated at the Hollywood Bowl next month with a live-to-film concert/screening that will include cast members from both the movie and theatrical versions — and beyond — including Jeremy Irons, Nathan Lane, Billy Eichner, Ernie Sabella, Jason Weaver and Bradley GIbson.

The shows will take place at the Bowl May 24-25 and be produced by Disney Concerts, Fulwell 73 Productions, AMP Worldwide and Live Nation-Hewitt Silva.

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The general on-sale begins Friday at 10 a.m. via Ticketmaster, with an American Express cardholder presale starting Tuesday at 10 a.m.

“Disney’s The Lion King 30th Anniversary – A Live-to-Film Concert Event” will feature a full orchestra performing the Oscar-winning score composed by Hans Zimmer for the 1994 classic, conducted by Sarah Hicks. But the long tail that film has cast will be part of the celebration as well. The cast members who’ll sing the musical numbers written for the film by Elton John and Tim Rice will be drawn from the realm of the hit Broadway adaptation that kicked off in 1998 and the 2019 movie remake, as well as the initial film.

Coming to the stage from the 1994 version will be Irons (who originated the sinister role of Scar), Lane (who played the comical Timon), Ernie Sabella (the first Pumbaa) and Jason Weaver (who played Young Simba). Gibson will represent the Broadway incarnation (he played Simba on stage), and Eichner will bring memories of the 2019 remake (he voiced Timon on screen).

Hudson has not previously been associated with the various incarnations of “The Lion King,.” But even though any voice cast will be mostly male, the opening number calls for a strong female voice, so it’s not difficult to begin the guessing game of where she might fit in.

It’s especially easy to make some educated guesses about what she’ll do knowing that Hudson sang “The Circle of Life” when she came to fame competing on “American Idol” during season 3.

Additional celebrity performers will be announced, reps for the concerts said. Other performers will be drawn from current versions of the stage production, on top of a full choir. Costumes, set design and puppetry will also be borrowed from the Broadway/touring version.

The event precedes the release set for this coming Dec. 20 of a prequel from Walt Disney Studios, “Mufasa: The Lion King,” which like the 2019 version is being described as “live-action” (which, in this case, means a particularly photorealistic brand of animation — not actual singing lions). Eichner is reprising his role as Timon from the five-year-old remake in the forthcoming prequel; Barry Jenkins is directing. The trailer was described as going over well last week at CinemaCon.

Disney and Fulwell 73 previously teamed for “Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium,” a livestreamed concert on Disney+ that went on to win an Emmy, and “Disney’s Encanto at the Hollywood Bowl,” a 2022 concert at the venue that was also turned into a Disney+ special. It would seem likely similar plans might be in the offing for May’s “Lion King” anniversary concerts, although no filming intentions have been announced.

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