The Lion King’s Jason Weaver Gambled in 1994 and Earned a King’s Ransom
File Under: Getting Paid.
The original young Simba, Jason Weaver, made headlines recently when he spoke about his family’s gamble during the production of 1994’s original, animated The Lion King.
Jason Weaver was the iconic voice behind Young Simba in the 1994 The Lion King film. He sat down with VladTV recently to talk about why he turned down Disney’s initial $2 million offer.
“I remember it was like $2 million,” said Weaver. “You gotta remember, they’re coming off of Beauty and the Beast. They’re coming off of Aladdin. Disney had bread.”
However, the actor’s mother was thinking about the long-term and decided to negotiate for royalties instead of accepting the large lump sum of cash.
Check out the video:
Disney had a reputation for re-releasing stuff. I think at that time they had put out Sleeping Beauty and some of their old catalog from when Walt Disney was alive. They were releasing that stuff when they were releasing the new Disney stuff, so she was able to see the playing field and go, ‘Wait a minute, this is going to make a lot of money over time, so what happens when my son turns 40? Is he going to be able to get a check for this when they eventually re-release this?
He certainly did get a check (or two) and is still living off the film’s royalties.
The original film grossed about $400 million in the US and nearly $1 billion worldwide in the box office alone, between its original theatrical run, 2002 IMAX re-release, and 2011 3D conversion.