New Lion King Movie Casts Its Zazu

The annoyingly strict bird will be voiced by John Oliver.


Disney's new Lion King movie has found a voice actor for Zazu. According to The Hollywood Reporter, comedian and late night TV host John Oliver will play the role.

In the 1994 original Lion King, the stuffy and strict Zazu is a side character who is Mufasa's advisor of sorts. He was voiced by Rowan Atkinson in the original film. Oliver is the host of HBO's Last Week Tonight and he also had voice roles in The Smurfs and its sequel.

This is just the latest big casting announcement for the new Lion King movie. Other actors performing voice roles in the film include Donald Glover (Simba), James Earl Jones (Mufasa), Seth Rogen (Pumbaa), and Billy Eichner (Timon). Singer Beyonce is reportedly being eyed to voice Nala.

The new Lion King's story was written by Catch Me If You Can and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales' Jeff Nathanson. It's directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Jungle Book).

The new Lion King, which opens in July 2019, has big shoes to fill, as the original made more than $968 million at the box office and won multiple Academy Awards, in addition to a pair of Grammy Awards for its soundtrack.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 9 comments about this story