Jason Weaver says his mother saved him from making the biggest mistake of his career when he was cast for the original “Lion King.”
During an interview with Vlad TV, Weaver said Disney offered him a $2 million check upfront for being the singing voice of Young Simba.
At this time, this was the largest check Weaver had received.
Weaver was overjoyed, but his mother was hesitant.
“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.
His mother wasn’t satisfied with the idea of him being paid one flat rate, after considering the revenue Disney would likely make over time. She also recalled Disney re-releasing their other 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 in his teenage years at the time, opted for royalties instead.
His first check was far less than Disney’s initial offer of $2 million. He recalls making close to $100,000 upfront with his first check combined with a share of royalties.
Over time, Weaver made far more than Disney’s original offer and it wouldn’t be possible without his mother.
“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.