Hakuna Matata! Ain’t no passing craze…
Ahead of the opening of Angels in America on Broadway in which he stars, Nathan Lane stopped by Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show to speak of another of his classic roles in The Lion King.
The American star voiced loveable meerkat Timon in the 1994 animated film, but when Disney announced plans for a live-action remake, Nathan wasn’t asked back.
Instead, Billy Eichner scored the role of Timon, and reached out to Nathan with a lovely email to tell him how he’s a tough act to follow.
Nathan brought along his response to Billy’s email along with him, and it included a big revelation. Kinda.
“Billy, when this was first announced, I thought to myself, ‘This just goes to prove the old show business adage: Everyone is replaceable except James Earl Jones.’ Hakuna f**king Matata,” Nathan said.
“However, now that gay rights have come so far, in this version Timon can finally marry Pumbaa and live openly in the Serengeti. Believe me, once you’ve had warthog, you never go back.”
Okay, so Nathan is clearly joking, but if Timon and Pumbaa do become a gay couple in the new Lion King, we’d be totally here for it.
The pair have long been used as an example of a way Disney tests out same-sex relationships in their animations, without the full (wart)hog.
Pumbaa will be voiced by Seth Rogen in the new version of the Disney classic, which is scheduled to be in cinemas on 19 July, 2019.
Donald Glover will take on the role of Simba, while Beyoncé will voice Nala.
As Nathan Lane has already pointed out, James Earl Jones will return as the voice of Mufasa.