Photo Credit: Disney India
Disney India has hired Shah Rukh Khan and his son Aryan Khan for the Hindi-language dub of the upcoming remake of The Lion King, it announced Monday. Shah Rukh Khan will voice Mufasa, the King of the Pride Lands and Simba's father, voiced by James Earl Jones in the 1994 animated original and the 2019 remake. Aryan, on the other hand, will voice Mufasa's son and the film's lead character Simba, voiced by Donald Glover in the remake.
This is the second time Shah Rukh and his son Aryan are lending their voices to an animated film, after 2004's The Incredibles, in which they also voiced the father-son duo, Mr. Incredible and Dash, known as Lajawab and Tej in the Hindi-language dub of the Pixar film.
Shah Rukh is a last-minute addition and a bit of a replacement for The Lion King remake, which had initially hired Kabir Bedi (Khoon Bhari Maang) to voice Mufasa in the trailers. All evidence of the Hindi-language trailers has since been erased from Disney India's social channels, with the only proof still available on Bedi's Twitter account.
Having high-profile stars voice characters in animated films has been the norm for big studios for a while now. Disney India did so with the Hindi-language dub of 2016's The Jungle Book as well. Om Puri voiced Bagheera, Priyanka Chopra was Kaa, Irrfan Khan was Baloo, Shefali Shah voiced Raksha, and Nana Patekar was Shere Khan.
Directed by Jon Favreau (The Jungle Book), the English-language version of The Lion King remake also features the voice talents of Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Beyoncé as Nala, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, Billy Eichner as Timon, Alfre Woodard as Sarabi, John Kani as Rafiki, and John Oliver as Zazu, in addition to Florence Kasumba, Eric Andre, and Keegan-Michael Key as Scar's hyena minions, and Amy Sedaris.
The Lion King is slated to release July 19 in India in English, Hindi, Tamil, and Telugu.