Why Jason Weaver Turned Down $2M Offer For ‘The Lion King’



When Jason Weaver was cast in the original “Lion King,” he says his mother saved him from making the biggest mistake of his career.

During an interview with Vlad TV, Weaver revealed that Disney offered him a $2 million advance for his singing voice of Young Simba.

This was the largest check Weaver had ever received at the time.

Weaver was ecstatic, but his mother was skeptical.

“That amount of money, to an average middle-class family in Chicago in the early 90s, I mean … that’s something. But immediately, my mom goes, ‘Wait a minute,’” Weaver told Vlad TV.

After considering the revenue Disney would likely make over time, his mother was unsatisfied with the idea of him being paid one flat rate. She also remembered Disney re-releasing previous animated films.

“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 still going to be able to get a check from this when they eventually re-release this,’” Weaver said.

Weaver, who was still in his teens at the time, chose royalties instead.
His first payment was significantly less than Disney’s initial offer of $2 million. He recalls making nearly $100,000 upfront with his first check plus a share of royalties.
Weaver eventually made far more than Disney’s original offer, and it would not have been possible without his mother’s help.

“I make sure that I give my mother her just due props and credit for that, because if she hadn’t done that, that would have been one of the biggest mistakes of my career business wise,” Weaver explained.

Check out the full interview below.



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