Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen have signed on to voice gay lovers Timon and Pumbaa (respectively) in Disney’s upcoming “live action” remake of The Lion King, according to an exclusive report from The Wrap.
The nasally meerkat and gruff warthog were voiced by Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella in the original 1994 film, and (with the help of the wildly catchy “Hakuna Matata”) quickly became two of Disney’s most beloved characters of all time. Their fiercely loving and judgment-free romance wasn’t Disney’s first attempt at exploring same-sex relationships in an animated film—that honor goes to the ill-fated coupling of Robin Hood and Little John in 1973's Robin Hood—but it was their most memorable.
Though Timon and Pumbaa’s dark backstory, in which they’re ostracized by the bigots in Pride Rock and prohibited from living their “life of sin” within Mufasa’s kingdom, is only hinted at in the original animated film, it’s expected that their story of perseverance and love in the face of hate will be explored in Jon Favreau’s remake.
The Lion King is scheduled to hit theaters in 2019.