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Beyoncé confirmed to play Nala in Disney's live-action The Lion King

The Lion King film is expected to hit cinemas in 2019

Sharnaz Shahid

Beyoncé is set to take on a leading role in Disney's upcoming live-action version of its beloved animated film, The Lion King. It has been confirmed that the 36-year-old singer will play lioness Nala, who is the love interest of the film's protagonist, Simba, played by Donald Glover. The highly-anticipated movie will also star award-winning actor Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar and Seth Rogan as Pumba the warthog. The casting decision has been met with widespread praise, with one writing: "This is gonna be good!" [sic] Another said: "They all fit so well with the character they're playing."

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The star-studded cast of The Lion King has been announced

READ: Full Disney schedule up to 2019 released

It was also announced that James Earl Jones will play Mufasa, having voiced the character in the 1994 animation, while Billy Eichner will take on the role of Zazu. In March, director Jon Favreau announced the exciting news on Twitter, writing: "I just can't wait to be king. #Simba," accompanied by a snap of Donald. He then followed the tweet with a photo of James, writing: "Looking forward to working with this legend. #Mufasa." According to Disney, the film, which is expected to hit the big screen in 2019, will be a "new take" on the now-classic story. In a statement, Jon said: "It is a director's dream to assemble a talented team like this to bring this classic story to life."

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Beyoncé has been confirmed to play Nala in Disney's live-action

READ: This is why Disney princesses always wear blue

Meanwhile, Disney has been focused on creating live-action adaptations of their most popular animations in recent years, and have found incredible success with The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast and Maleficent (based on Sleeping Beauty). They have also announced plans to adapt Mulan, 101 Dalmatians and The Little Mermaid, and there is currently a sequel in the works for the popular 2007 Disney film, Enchanted.