We won’t know if the upcoming live-action Lion King remake is a ‘good movie,’ however you might define the term, until its release on July 19, 2019. But with two years to go until the big unveiling, director Jon Favreau is already off to a strong start. There’s been a clever little edge to his casting thus far, as he’s tapped black actors for the lion roles in the film (Donald Glover will voice Simba, and James Earl Jones will lend his velvety baritone to sage father Mufasa) and white actors as the other members of the animal kingdom (Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen will voice Timon and Pumbaa; John Oliver has signed on as toucan Zazu), reinforcing the allegory of discord among the royal family and fully transposing it to its African setting.

In light of that, Chiwetel Ejiofor’s newly announced casting makes perfect sense. The Wrap announced that the Academy Award nominee has entered talks to voice Scar in Favreau’s upcoming remake. Ejiofor makes a perfect successor to Jeremy Irons as the original Scar, too; both men have the deep timbre of menace, the requisite British accent, and the stage training to bring that key sense of theatrical gravitas. Ejiofor has yet to sign on the line that is dotted, but he’d make a fine addition to a deep-benched cast.

You’ll notice that Favreau has yet to lock down a Nala for his production. Murmurs have gotten out that he wants Beyoncé (Knowles, formerly of Destiny’s Child), and will do whatever he must to accommodate her demanding schedule. The total lack of news on the Nala front suggests that he’s taking the time to court her. Stay tuned.

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