Disney's live-action remake of The Lion King boasts an impressive cast of actors, all the way from Beyoncé to Donald Glover, to name a few stars. And in anticipation of the film's premiere on July 19, some people might be wondering: Who voices Scar in The Lion King? As it turns out, Disney has picked the perfect guy for the job.
Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor first signed on to voice Scar in August 2017, taking on the role of Mufasa's jealous brother. It's a meaty part given the murderous choice Scar makes to get ahead, and it's safe to say the character is perfect for an actor who appreciates complex villains. And that's where Ejiofor comes in because he has a history of tackling layered roles.
The Oscar nominee and BAFTA winner has starred in a number of acclaimed pieces, including 12 Years a Slave and Doctor Strange, according to Indie Wire. Not to mention, Ejiofor released his directorial debut, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, in the spring. The film is based on the life of Malawian engineer William Kamkwamba, who wrote an autobiography of the same name. During Kamkwamba's youth, he "built a wind turbine for his famine-stricken town in Malawi," according to The Atlantic.
But wait — that's not all. The accomplished actor will also star in the Maleficent sequel alongside Angelina Jolie later this year. Talk about a busy guy, right?
As for Scar, Ejiofor told British talk show host Lorraine Kelly that he recorded Scar's lines over a year, during which he was shown the development of the character's visuals.
Taking a year out of his busy schedule gave Ejiofor the chance to create an original villain for the remake. The classic Scar, as voiced by Jeremy Irons, remains an iconic character, but Ejiofor wanted to bring something fresh to the role. "You want to sort of occupy the same space [from the original but find out] what else is there, and what you might bring to the role, and the psychology," he told Kelly.
But as the actor told Gizmodo, he didn't approach Scar as a straight villain. “To play [a character], you don’t necessarily have to sympathize but you have to empathize with their position,” Ejiofor said. “ ... You have to understand that we’re all very complex, all flawed, and all of these things bubble around inside of us. We manage, most of the time, to control the most nefarious aspects of them. But they’re there and that’s part of the experience of being alive.”
Speaking of joy, Ejiofor said the experience of participating in The Lion King was a joyous one. “I think it’s one of those moments when you’re just filled with a pure kind of joy,” he told Gizmodo. “[Also], as a fan, I was excited about the prospect of there being another Lion King and just what that might mean.”
I absolutely can't wait to see this film, and I have a feeling Ejiofor will do a great job as the voice of Scar given his impressive acting background and in-depth research into the role.