What In The Zazu? John Oliver Cast In Lion King Remake

Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver has been cast as uptight political adviser, Zazu in the upcoming The Lion King remake. Joining an admittedly rag-tag cast of Donald Glover, Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner, the addition of the Brit comedian has us all wondering – what in the hornbill is happening in this remake?

John Oliver, host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight. Image credit: Bustle

Cast announcements for the Jon Favreau-directed remake have been ever-so-slowly trickling into the press, and with a release date set for 2019 it could be a long wait until we’re fed the entire manifest. So let us waste some time and scrutinise the big name beasts Favreau has cast so far – The Lion King was our all-time favourite childhood movie after all.

Of course, the return of James Earl Jones as Mufasa makes a lion’s kingdom of sense: as if there could ever be a match for the distinct gravitas Jones lends to the revered king and father.

But the remaining cast – at least, those announced so far – are leading us to believe the remake will be more mature comedy than family fun…

Loveable dope Seth Rogen is set to voice the equally as loveable dope, Pumbaa the warthog. But is Seth Rogen really an appropriate addition to a children’s classic? Will we find Pumbaa rolling jazz cigarettes to a reggae-esque rendition of Hakuna Matata? As for Billy Eichner, can we expect a wildly neurotic, sarcastic meerkat dragging Pumbaa through the jungle accosting wildebeest with a makeshift microphone for ‘Timon on the Street’?

We’re hoping Donald Glover channels his inner ‘Troy Barnes’ for the portrayal of the childish cub, Simba. Zendaya has been rumoured to reprise the role of Simba’s childhood friend and inevitable Queen, Nala. It’s no Troy and Abed pairing, but at least these two protagonists have the pipes to bust out our favourite Lion King ballads.

The role of a red-billed hornbill political adviser isn’t a stone’s throw from John Oliver’s current hosting gig on Last Week Tonight. Perhaps the outspoken comic can take a well-deserved break from roasting the President elect/human merkin, and inject some psychologist tripe from his Community days as off-the-wagon Professor Ian Duncan to psycho-analyse Scar and forewarn Mufasa of his looming betrayal – we don’t think we can handle another wildebeest stampede.

John Oliver as Professor Ian Duncan on Community. Image credit: Community Wiki

In any case, we’re looking forward to seeing how this remake pans out when a laid back stoner, sarcastic street interviewer and politically-outspoken comedian walk into a jungle… Unfortunately, the film isn’t set to premiere until 2019, so we’ve got a while to wait for the punchline.