Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner will play Pumbaa and Timon in 'The Lion King' remake - Silver Screen Beat
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Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner will play Pumbaa and Timon in ‘The Lion King’ remake

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Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner will soon be singing “Hakuna Matata,” as the comedy stars have been tapped to star in Jon Favreau’s live-action remake of The Lion King as Pumbaa and Timon, respectively. While the casting news certainly comes as a bit of a surprise, we honestly can’t think of anyone better to take these iconic roles.

According to TheWrap, both Rogen and Eichner are in final negotiations to join the film which already has Donald Glover voicing Simba and James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa. Variety, whose own sources confirmed the latest casting update, says that Beyonce is “still circling” the role of Nala, Simba’s love interest. However, due to the star’s busy schedule, it appears the Disney and her agents are having a hard time negotiating a deal that will work for both sides.

Yesterday, the studio also set an official release date for The Lion King on June 19, 2019, among several others including Star Wars: Episode IX, Frozen 2, Wreck-It-Ralph 2, an Indiana Jones movie, and Gigantic. Oh, and this might be slightly off-topic, but don’t be surprised to see them move Episode IX from May 24, 2019, to December 20, 2019—we all know it’s going to happen anyway, right?

The Lion King remake builds upon Disney’s success of reimagining classics for a modern audience with films such as MaleficentCinderella, and The Jungle Book, winning big at the box office. The upcoming film will include music from the original, such as Elton John and Tim Rice’s “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” and Hans Zimmer’s beautiful score, both of which earned the film two Academy Awards for Best Original Song and Best Original Score, respectively.

The original cast of The Lion King included Matthew Broderick, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, James Earl Jones, Jim Cummings, Jeremy Irons, Nathan Lane, Rowan Atkinson, Whoopi Goldberg, Cheech Marin, and more.

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Sam Raimi reteaming with Columbia Pictures to direct, produce untitled horror project

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Sam Raimi
ETHAN MILLER/GETTY IMAGES

Columbia Pictures confirmed Friday that it has acquired the rights to an untitled horror project that is set to be directed and produced by Sam Raimi, making it the genre maestro’s first directorial effort on a horror film 2009’s Drag Me to Hell.

“I am thrilled to be reunited with Columbia Pictures and re-teaming with Sanford [Panitch] and Ange [Giannetti],” Raimi said in a statement. “I have been a fan of Shannon and Swift and we have found the perfect adventure to share with the world.”

While details about the project are being kept tightly under wraps, the film — which was written by Mark Swift and Damian Shannon, based on an original idea they conceived — is comparable to Misery and Cast Away in terms of its tone, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Raimi and Zainab Azizi are producing the film via their Raimi Productions label, while Giannetti is overseeing the production for Columbia Pictures, which moved quickly to acquire the rights to the project before other studios even had a chance to make a bid on it.

Production on the film is expected to get underway in 2020.

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Phoenix: Warner Bros. invites you to a screening of Edward Norton’s ‘Motherless Brooklyn’

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Motherless Brooklyn
WARNER BROS.

Warner Bros. will release Motherless Brooklyn, the new crime drama from writer, director, and star Edward Norton, on October 19 and its giving Silver Screen Beat readers in Phoenix a chance to attend an advance screening of the film before it officially opens in theaters.

Our readers in Phoenix can click on this link right now to claim their free passes — good for you and one guest — to attend an advance screening of Motherless Brooklyn happening at Harkins Scottsdale 101 on Monday, October 28 at 6:30 p.m.

Keep in mind that these free passes are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure to claim yours as soon as possible before they run out. Below is the official trailer for Motherless Brooklyn as well as some additional details about the film.

Directed by: Edward Norton

Cast: Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Alec Baldwin, and Willem Dafoe

Opens: Friday, November 1

Rating: R for language throughout, including some sexual references, brief drug use, and violence

Synopsis: Set against the backdrop of 1950s New York, Motherless Brooklyn follows Lionel Essrog (Edward Norton), a lonely private detective living with Tourette Syndrome, as he ventures to solve the murder of his mentor and only friend, Frank Minna (Bruce Willis). Armed only with a few clues and the engine of his obsessive mind, Lionel unravels closely-guarded secrets that hold the fate of the whole city in the balance. In a mystery that carries him from gin-soaked jazz clubs in Harlem to the hard-edged slums of Brooklyn and, finally, into the gilded halls of New York’s power brokers, Lionel contends with thugs, corruption and the most dangerous man in the city to honor his friend and save the woman who might be his own salvation.

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Paul Dano in talks to play the Riddler in ‘The Batman’ as Jonah Hill passes on the role

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Paul Dano
JOHN SCIULLI/GETTY IMAGES

Paul Dano is headed to Gotham City as the actor is in talks to play the classic comic book villain the Riddler in Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman, Silver Screen Beat has learned.

Dano joins a star-studded cast that already includes the likes of Robert Pattinson as the titular Caped Crusader, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, and Jeffrey Wright as Commissioner Gordon. Reeves is expected to round out the rest of the cast before the year’s end in anticipation of an early 2020 production start.

The news of Dano’s casting comes less than a day after reports surfaced about Jonah Hill turning down the role after he and his team failed to reach an agreement with Warner Bros. after spending weeks at the negotiating table.

Sources tell Silver Screen Beat that Hill’s camp was trying to broker a $10 million deal for the actor, which is more than half of what Pattinson — the star of the film — is reportedly making.

Reeves, who first boarded The Batman in early 2017 following the unsurprising departure of Ben Affleck, is directing the film from a script he wrote, in addition to producing along with his Planet of the Apes collaborator Dylan Clark.

The Batman is scheduled to be released June 25, 2021.

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