Man who Voiced Simba Turned down $2 Million Dollar Payday and Took Royalties Instead


The man who voiced young Simba from The Lion King turned down a $2 million pay day and choose to pick up royalties instead.

Jason Weaver sang Disney classics such as ‘Hakuna Matata’ and ‘I Just Can’t Wait to be King’ – arguably some of the most well known Disney songs of all time.

Despite his huge success, when offered a flat rate of $2 million, his mother encourage him to turn it down in favor of taking a royalties deal.

Speaking to Vlad TV in 2019, Weaver said:

“I remember it was like $2 million,”

“You gotta remember, they’re coming off of Beauty and the Beast. They’re coming off of Aladdin. Disney had bread.”

 “That amount of money to an average middle class family in Chicago in the early nineties, that’s something.

“But immediately my mom goes, ‘Wait a minute, OK, if they’re willing to do that… that’s it, that’s all he’ll ever get, for the remainder of his life?’

“They were like, ‘That’s it, he takes the money, that’s it,’ she was like, ‘No, let’s negotiate royalties.'”

He was paid $100k up front for his work – so turning down the $2 million was a huge gamble.

“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 [his mum] 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 cheque for this when they eventually re-release this.'”

It clearly was a smart choice for the singer, who shared that the royalties have more than made up for his initial offer – although he did not reveal how much he has made over the years.

Watch his interview below:

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