- "As a father, I can totally relate with Mufasa," said Shah Rukh Khan
- "Being a part of this with my son Aryan makes it extra special," he added
- The film will release on July 19
Indian audiences have an extra-special reason to watch the Hindi dub of the live-action version of The Lion King - Mufasa and Simba will be voiced by Shah Rukh Khan and his 21-year-old son Aryan. In a statement, SRK revealed that the original 1994 animated version of The Lion King is a family favourite and that he can totally 'relate' to the character of Mufasa, voiced by James Earl Jones in the Disney classic - Mufasa, who dies early into the events of the film, is a wise king and father, teaching his young son Simba about life in the African wild and about kingship.
This Father's Day post from Shah Rukh Khan makes perfect sense now:
Shah Rukh Khan also revealed in his statement what he and Aryan are most thrilled about - that their audience will include the youngest Khan, 6-year-old AbRam. "The Lion King is that one movie that my entire family loves the most and it holds a very special place in our hearts. As a father, I can totally relate with Mufasa and the endearing relationship he shares with his son - Simba. The legacy of Lion King is timeless; and being a part of this iconic re-imagining with my son Aryan makes it extra special for me. We are most excited that AbRam is going to watch this," SRK said in his statement.
Bikram Duggal, the head of Studio Entertainment, Disney India, said, "The Lion King is a classic that epitomizes Disney's prowess of bringing heartwarming stories that are timeless and transcend generations. Now, with the re-imagined version, our aim is to reach out to a wider audience; introducing the tale about a pride of lions to a whole new generation of audiences while forging a deeper connect with existing fans. We cannot imagine having a better voice cast than Shah Rukh Khan and his son Aryan to bring the characters of Mufasa and Simba to life in Hindi."
Shah Rukh and Aryan Khan have previously dubbed for a father-son duo in 2004 The Incredibles, with SRK voicing Mr Incredible and Aryan his son Dash. Aryan also played the young version of SRK's character Rahul Raichand in 2001 blockbuster Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham.
The live-action remake of The Lion King is being made under the stewardship of Jon Favreau, director of films such as The Jungle Book and Iron Man. The original film was among the biggest hits of the year and was later made into a very successful and long-running stage musical. In The Lion King, Mufasa, the lion king when the film opens, is manipulated by his scheming brother Scar into the path of stampeding buffalo; Scar then convinces Mufasa's young son Simba that he's responsible for his father's death and to run away. Simba later returns to defeat Scar and become The Lion King. The young Simba was voiced by Jonathan Taylor Thomas, the older version by Matthew Broderick. The voice cast also included Jeremy Irons, Whoopi Goldberg, Rowan Atkinson and Nathan Lane.
The live action remake of The Lion King will also release in regional languages such as Tamil and Telugu. The film is scheduled for July 19.