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Chiwetel Ejiofor in talks to voice The Lion King's Scar - report

Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor is reportedly in talks to voice villain Scar in Disney's live-action remake of The Lion King.

The 12 Years A Slave star has allegedly been tapped to play the evil lion who usurps his brother Mufasa as head of a pride of lions, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Directed by Jon Favreau, who also reimagined Disney's The Jungle Book, The Lion King already features a star-studded voice cast.

Atlanta creator Donald Glover will play Simba, the young lion who exiles himself from his pride after his father Mufasa's death. James Earl Jones, who voiced Mufasa in the original 1994 animation, is reprising his role.

Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen will provide comic relief as hapless warthog and meerkat duo Timon and Pumbaa, while British funnyman John Oliver will star as Mufasa's red-billed hornbill advisor Zazu.

The role of Scar was originally played by British actor Jeremy Irons in the animated version of the story.

Favreau's version of The Jungle Book in 2016 proved a major hit with fans as he utilized photorealistic computer generated animation to update the classic cartoon.

His live-action remake of the 1967 movie kept in songs from the original and the filmmaker is expected to repeat the trick when remaking The Lion King, which could mean Ejiofor taking on songs from the Elton John and Tim Rice penned soundtrack.

The new movie is currently shooting in Los Angeles and is scheduled for release in 2019.

Ejiofor last appeared on screen in another Disney distributed movie, as he starred as the sorcerer Mordo in Marvel Studios' superhero caper Doctor Strange.

The English-Nigerian actor was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in 2014 for his portrayal of Solomon Northup in 12 Years A Slave.