Actor Donald Glover, also known as musician and performer Childish Gambino, is an outside contender for success at the 2020 Academy Awards ceremony, along with a host of household names, thanks to his starring role in the upcoming animated movie The Lion King.

The movie, directed by award-winning actor and director Jan Favreau, is an update on the original animated movie, released in 1994. The tale of Simba the lion and his battle to gain his father’s throne from the clutches of his evil uncle proved to be a huge hit with movie audiences and Walt Disney Pictures are clearly hoping that this remake, which follows a string of successful animated updates including Cinderella (2015), Jungle Book (2016), and Beauty and the Beast (2017) will be something of a box office banker, not least because Favreau also directed the second of those titles. 

The critical success of those Disney relaunches, which featured new live action/animation hybrid technology has also helped to earn The Lion King a quote in the betting for the Best Picture Oscar in 2020. Paddy Power rate the movie as a 17/1 shot in this market, alongside The Souvenir and The Farewell, although at a bigger price than another animated contender, Toy Story 4 (14/1). The movie will also be boosted by the presence of a string of household names, including Beyonce, Seth Rogen, James Earl Jones, Elfre Woodard and John Oliver.

But if The Lion King is to scoop the Best Picture prize, it will have to overcome a weight of history. While animated movies have won numerous Oscars over the years, only three have ever been nominated in this category, with Toy Story 3 (2010) being the latest, and none have won. 

The movie is also up against a crowded field filled out by some of the biggest names in Hollywood, such as Martin Scorcese, whose latest gangster film The Irishman is the current 3/1 favourite, Quentin Tarantino, who is hoping for Oscars glory with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (6/1) and three-time winner Meryl Streep, who stars in political thriller The Laundromat (4/1). 

Published by Andie Hughes

Based in England, Andie Hughes is a freelance betting writer with over a decade of experience in the industry. Andie has written for ESPN, Betfair, Sporting Life, and Boylesports, and can be contacted at

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