Alfre Woodard will play Simba's mother, and John Kani will portray Mufasa's adviser


The Lion King is rounding out its royal court.

EW has confirmed that Alfre Woodard will voice Sarabi, the mate of leonine ruler Mufasa and mother of cub-prince Simba, in Disney’s live-action reimagining of its 1994 animated hit, while John Kani will portray the primate Rafiki, a trusted royal adviser.

Woodard and Kani join a cast that includes Donald Glover as Simba, James Earl Jones as Mufasa (reprising his role from the original), Billy Eichner as Timon, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, and John Oliver as Zazu.

Madge Sinclair portrayed Sarabi in the 1994 version, and Robert Guillaume voiced Rafiki.

Credit: Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images; Robbie Jack/Corbis via Getty Images

Jon Favreau is directing the new Lion King, utilizing performance-capture technology and computer-generated imagery to bring the animal characters to life as he did in The Jungle Book. The film is scheduled to arrive in theaters July 19, 2019.

Woodard and Kani previously costarred in Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War. Woodard’s other upcoming projects include the dramas Saint Judy and Juanita, while Kani will next be seen in Black Panther.

The Hollywood Reporter first reported Woodard’s casting; The Wrap broke the news about Kani.

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