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Beyoncé In Talks to Run the Animal Kingdom as Nala in ‘Lion King’ Remake

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You may remember pop star Beyoncé Knowles from her stint in the late-’90s/early-’00s R&B girl group Destiny‘s Child with “Pretty Girl Rock” singer Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams (not the one from Manchester by the Sea). But did you know that the celebrated performer has cultivated an active solo career in the years since the group that made her famous broke up? Believe it or not, Knowles released a string of successful studio records over the past decade, starred in the music-video-compilation film Lemonade last year, and wed rapping man Jayson Z in 2008.

And with that, I have completed my impression of someone who only heard of Beyoncé when scanning her Wikipedia page just now. We all know who Beyoncé is. She‘s Beyoncé.

The Holder of Up, the Runner of the World, the Crazy-in-Love One has once again deigned to descend from her celestial throne to mingle with the common rabble in Hollywood. Last night, Variety ran the report that Jon Favreau and Disney have entered into negotiations with the Putter of a Ring on It to voice Nala in their upcoming remake of The Lion King. Much like Favreau’s recent remounting of The Jungle Book, the upcoming film would feature actors providing voices for CGI animals moving through a live-action space, so Knowles would never actually have to show her face. The relative ease and convenience of a voice-over role may be to Knowles’ advantage, as the impending birth of her twins has compelled her to scale back her work as of late. (She recently cancelled a headlining Coachella gig.)

While it’s heartening that Favreau has decided to turn to black talent when staffing up for a film that is set in Africa (he’s already tapped Donald Glover for Simba and velvety-voiced James Earl Jones for Mufasa), it does seem like a little bit of a waste to hire the biggest singer in the world for a film that’s been estranged from its origins as a musical. We’re really not gonna hear her belting “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” Well, some Beyoncé is better than no Beyoncé, I suppose.

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