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Casting: Amy Sedaris prowls The Lion King, Billie Piper returning to Doctor Who, and more

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Nov 26, 2018, 6:01 PM EST

Lions, and Doctors, and casting, oh my!

Here's the latest lowdown on who joined what projects and who (or what) they'll be playing. Today's two major bits of casting news should excite Disney and Whovian fans alike. What are they? We're getting there!


Jon Favreau's CGI take on Disney's The Lion King won't just be a shot-for-shot remake of the 1994 original. It'll pack a few surprises like a never-before-seen character voiced by comedian Amy Sedaris.

According to Variety, Sedaris will play an elephant shrew, a rodent-like mammal indigenous to Africa. They get their namesake from their long, trunk-like noses. 

Sedaris is no stranger to lending her vocal chords to a talking animal, having voiced the pink-furred feline and talent agent Princess Carolyn on Netflix's hit animated series BoJack Horseman.

In Favreau's project, she'll be one of many voice talents, along with Donald Glover, James Earl Jones, Alfre Woodard, John Oliver, Seth Rogen, Beyonce, and Billy Eichner. Over the weekend, the movie's first trailer racked up over 224 million views in a 24-hour period. While Disney said on social media that it was the studio's most-watched trailer in history, Avengers: Infinity War (technically a Disney property) holds the all-time record with 230 million views in 24 hours. 

The Lion King just can't wait to open in theaters on July 19, 2019. 


Up next, Billie Piper is returning to the world of BBC's Doctor Who in an upcoming audio series, titled Rose Tyler: The Dimension Cannon, from Big Finish Productions. Big Finish announced the news on its website, writing that the series is being produced in conjunction with BBC Studios.

Piper (Penny Dreadful) played Rose Tyler, the female companion to the Ninth and Tenth Doctors, portrayed by Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant, respectively. The audio series will follow Rose as she explores parallel universes on the verge of collapse. On her adventures, she'll be looking for the Doctor, the only individual who can save these worlds. 

"I love how normal Rose is, and yet really extraordinary," Piper said in the release. "She lived a normal average life but she is incredibly curious and has an enormous capacity for love and empathy and is really spirited. She is extraordinary."


Credit: Big Finish Productions/BBC Studios

Also reprising their roles from the show are Camille Coduri (Rose's mom, Jackie); Shaun Dingwall (Rose's dad, Peter), Mark Benton (UFO investigator Clive Finch), and Elli Garnett (Clive's wife, Caroline). 

"I approached Russell T. Davies with the idea of Big Finish making a Rose Tyler spin-off," said producer David Richardson. "He was very enthusiastic — as always — and suggested we followed Rose’s journey that ultimately leads to her finding the Doctor in The Stolen Earth. I found the proposal irresistible, and instantly script editor, Matt Fitton, and I were throwing around ideas."

Davies, of course, was the main person who helped revive Doctor Who on the BBC, also creating its two spinoff series, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures.

The audio series will comprise four new stories: "The Endless Night" by Jonathan Morris, "The Flood" by Lisa McMullin, "Ghost Machines" by AK Benedict, and "The Last Party on Earth" by Matt Fitton.

Rose Tyler: The Dimension Cannon won't be available until next September, but you can pre-order a copy here


Lastly, John Gallagher Jr. (10 Cloverfield Lane) has the boarded horror project Larry, from writer/director Jacob Chase, Deadline confirms. The movie will be based on Chase's short of the same name. 

Gillian Jacobs (Community) and Azhy Robertson (The Americans) will also star in the film, which tells the tale of a family terrorized by a monster that can be summoned by electronic devices. In the short, a solitary parking lot attendant is set upon by the beast. 

You can watch Chase's original (and creepy) short below: