The Lion King casts its Sarabi and Rafiki

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John Oliver, 40, will also join the cast, alongside Donald Glover who will play Simba and James Earl Jones, who will be reprising his role as Mufasa in the cartoon classic.

The 1994 animated Lion King is one of Disney's most popular and beloved films ever, so it's only nature that Favreau would assemble an A-list roster of character actor talent to voice his iteration's many animal characters - with even a relatively smaller role such as Sarabi being occupied by a highly-respected performer like Woodard.

More names have been added to the cast of The Lion King live action remake, and South African Theatre and screen star John Kani is one of them.

As well as keeping Sir Elton John and Tim Rice's original songs, which include "Can You Feel The Love Tonight", "Be Prepared" and "I Just Can't Wait To Be King", the remake will also feature some new tunes.

Madge Sinclair portrayed Sarabi in the 1994 version, and Robert Guillaume voiced Rafiki. Recently, it was reported that Chiwetel Ejiofor will voice Scar.


Jeff Nathanson (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) wrote the script for Disney, with Favreau and Jeffrey Silver producing. "The Lion King" is now shooting in Los Angeles.

Woodard will play Sabari, Simba's mother.

Woodard played Mariah Dillard in Marvel's Netflix series Luke Cage.

The Jungle Book helmer and Spider-Man: Homecoming star Jon Favreau directs the upcoming flick.

The Lion King is now slated to hit theaters July 19, 2019.

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