Jason Weaver’s mother wanted her son to be set for life when he signed onto “The Lion King” in 1994.
In a new interview with VladTV, the actor/singer, who sang “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” and “Hakuna Matata” as young Simba, revealed his mother refused a $2 million cheque for royalties during negotiations.
“Disney had a reputation for re-releasing stuff. I think at that time they had put out ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and some of their old catalogue 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 cheqe for this when they eventually re-release this?’” he explained.
“It was so we can play the long game,” he continued. “In her opinion, because that residual income that I generate is so helpful. I make sure I give my mother her just due to props because if she hadn’t done that it would have been the biggest mistake of my business career.”
Since the film’s release in 1994, Weaver has earned more than $1.9 million in royalties. Disney re-released “The Lion King” in 2002 for an IMAX re-release and again in 2011 for a 3D experience.
Disney also debuted a live-action re-make this summer.