Disney’s 1994 animated classic “The Lion King” boasts around a half dozen memorable songs from the catch-phrasey “Hakuna Matata” to the iconic opener “Circle of Life” and more. It also boasts a great number in “Be Prepared” – the big solo number from the film’s antagonist Scar (Jeremy Irons).
The latter may not be as big in the pop charts, being a character-driven song more directly tied into the film’s narrative, but like many Disney animated works it’s this villain song (ala “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” “Friends on the Other Side,” “Gaston”) that’s arguably the best number overall.
Which is why it’s sad news to hear today from musician Elton John that Jon Favreau’s upcoming ‘live action’ version (or rather a realistic CG animated reimagining) of the animated Disney feature will NOT include the number. Speaking with The Sun, John says only four numbers from the original are going to be included alongside a new song to go over the end credits which he, Tim Rice and Beyonce will work on:
“They need to have a new end credits song. There’s going to be four of our songs in the film, from the original: Can You Feel The Love Tonight? Hakuna Matata, I Just Can’t Wait To Be King and Circle of Life. And then there will be an end, closing song, and we’ve been speaking to Beyonce’s people and hopefully Tim and I and her can cook up something. That’s going out in 2019 as well. And it will be great to work with her. So we will see.”
Chiwetel Ejiofor is providing the voice for Scar in this version which otherwise has been sounding like a fairly faithful take on the property. The song however plays a big part in explaining Scar’s plan, reasoning and conviction along with offering some pretty superb imagery – losing it will be a shame. The new “The Lion King” is set for release on July 19th 2019.