The first photo of Donald Glover recording “The Lion King” is here, and 2017 is saved

From the day we arrived on the planet, and blinking, stepped into the sun, it feels like we’ve been waiting for this moment: our first glimpse at Donald Glover working on The Lion King live-action reboot. Director Jon Favreau gifted us with the sneak peek on Twitter on December 20th, posting a photo of himself alongside Glover in what looks like a studio with a fitting caption: “Simba returns!”

Glover will voice Simba in the movie with a supporting cast so good we could bust out some coconuts and hula with Timon. ICYMI: opposite Glover in the Lion King will be real-life queen Beyoncé as Nala, James Earl Jones, who starred in the original animated version, as Mufasa (again), Chiwetel Ejiofor will BE PREPARED to be Scar, Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen will take on Timon and Pumbaa, Alfre Woodard will play Sarabi, John Oliver will be the perfect Zazu, and Florence Kasumba, Eric André, and Keegan-Michael Key will round out the crew as Scar’s hyena henchmen.

We still have to wait more than a year to see this dream team come to Pride Rock in live-action animal form, but in the meantime it’s comforting to know Glover’s really in the studio and this isn’t some mirage we hallucinated to cope with the garbage fire of 2017. Just keep thinking to yourself that on July 19th, 2019, Eichner will share his Hakuna Matata philosophy with Glover, Jones’ and his commanding voice will again teach us about the circle of life, and Beyoncé will sing Can You Feel the Love Tonight as a fierce lioness. THIS IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING.

Now, if only time could pass as quickly as it does when young J.T.T. Simba suddenly becomes adult Matthew Broderick Simba during the Hakuna Matata instrumental break.