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2 Friday, July 12, 2019 05:30

Seth Rogen & Billy Eichner Talk Improvising on 'Hakuna Matata,' Plus 5 More Highlights From 'Lion King' Twitter Panel

Twitter's private screening event of "The Lion King" on Wednesday night brought together the movie's stars and fans for a celebration of the "Circle of Life" that has become the franchise itself.After viewing the film, attendees were treated to two panels with select actors and those behind the film, hosted by Entertainment Tonight's Nischelle Turner.

Though the realistic animation added stunning dimension to the movie, it was clear in both conversations that the thread holding the reimagined version together was its music.Below, find six highlights from the discussion.Jon Favreau's VisionFirst up was the acting panel, consisting of director Jon Favreau, Seth Rogen (Pumbaa), Billy Eichner (Timon), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Scar), Alfre Woodard (Sarabi), Florence Kasumba (Shenzi), JD McCrary (Young Simba) and Shahadi Wright Joseph (Young Nala).

Favreau started out by describing how important the casting process was to the film's reimagining, since the incredibly lifelike visuals required all emotion to be expressed from the voice. Along with redefining the original score, Favreau said the new interpretation of the visuals is what first attracted him to the project.

Improvising "Hakuna Matata" Rogen and Eichner, who made a refreshingly hilarious duo as Pumbaa and Timon, revealed that their version of "Hakuna Matata" was mostly driven by improvisation. The two recorded their vocals with only a piano, allowing them to play off of each other and then return to the song in order to nail the banter in between verses.

"I saw the movie for the first time last night and I was shocked," Eichner said. "There’s so much improv in it and our conversation feels so natural, even though I’m a meerkat and he’s a warthog." In response, Rogen quipped: "And as you can see, it's not that different!"Feeling the LoveThough Favreau said he attempted to stick closely to the original scenes, one of the moments he took freedom in altering was the sequence during "Can You Feel the Love Tonight.

" With Donald Glover voicing Simba and Beyoncé as Nala, the timeless classic was modernized with flawless riffs and goosebump-inducing harmonies. Of the first time he heard Glover and Beyoncé rehearse the tune, Favreau said, "It was the moment when I felt that there was something we were doing that was different and new that defined our production but still connected it to the old one.

"Chance the Rapper's RoleTo accomplish his goal of staying true to the original while bringing a fresh perspective to the project, Favreau revealed that he turned to none other than Chance the Rapper. Introduced to him by Glover, Favreau said that Chance became a "technical consultant" for the film, making sure that moments still resonated with those who grew up with it.

. In return, Chance got to make more than a few cameos: "Half the animals around the grubs were Chance,".....


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