Tom Cruise Is Starring In The Lion King, See Him As Pumbaa Because It’s Terrifying

Tom Cruise plays Pumbaa in a Lion King musical number for the final episode of James Corden's The Late Late Show.

By Douglas Helm | Updated

tom cruise top gun: maverick

If you’ve ever wondered what Tom Cruise would look like as Pumbaa from The Lion King, that’s a pretty specific thing to wonder. But also, you don’t have to wonder anymore because it has become a terrifying reality. Also, James Corden is with him as Timon, in case you thought this nightmare scenario couldn’t get any weirder:

Based on this Instagram post, it seems like James Corden is gearing up for a pretty extravagant finale for his last episode as the host of The Late Late Show. One of the sketches will apparently be a performance that features him and Tom Cruise performing a tune (presumably Hakuna Matata) from The Lion King musical. If that’s something that you’re interested in seeing, you’ll be able to check out The Late Late Show finale on April 27.

Of course, if you’re more interested in Tom Cruise’s movie career, the star has plenty of big blockbusters coming our way. In addition to The Late Late Show coming to an end, Cruise will be ending a long-running project of his own with the Mission Impossible franchise. Fortunately, we’re getting a two-part finale to Ethan Hunt’s story with Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part One coming out this year and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part Two coming out in 2024.

Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part One sees Christopher McQuarrie returning to write and direct, with Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, and Henry Czerny reprising their roles from previous films. The cast is rounded out by Vanessa Kirby, Hayley Atwell, Shea Whigham, Pom Klementieff, Esai Morales, Rob Delaney, and Cary Elwes. We’ll get to see Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part One in theaters on July 24 and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning – Part Two on June 28, 2024.

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Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol

We can expect Tom Cruise to do some crazy stunts in the final two Mission: Impossible movies, but the actor is really outdoing himself with his upcoming collaboration with SpaceX. If someone was going to make the first Hollywood film in outer space, there aren’t many actors more suited to take on the challenge than Cruise. The currently untitled film will be directed by Doug Liman and is reportedly shooting on the International Space Station, with assistance from NASA and SpaceX.

In the meantime, Tom Cruise is still probably flying high off the success of his most recent blockbuster, Top Gun: Maverick. The film took the title for the top-grossing film of 2022 at the domestic box office, even managing to beat the mighty Avatar: The Way of Water. Of course, Avatar: The Way of Water took the top grossing overall, but the $1.488 billion the Top Gun sequel made worldwide is nothing to sneeze at.

These massive box office successes have also received widespread critical acclaim, with both nabbing Best Picture nominations at the Academy Awards this year. While it seems unlikely either will take the trophy over Oscar darlings like Tar or The Banshees of Inisherin, it’s still a huge deal for these major commercial successes to be nominated. Even if Top Gun: Maverick doesn’t win, 2023 seems like it’s definitely shaping up to be another dominating year for Tom Cruise (Pumbaa costume notwithstanding).