Alfre Woodard and John Kani to star in The Lion King
Alfre Woodard and John Kani have joined the cast of 'The Lion King'. Woodard, 64, will play Simba's mother Sarabi and Kani, 73, will be taking on the role of the wise baboon Rafiki, who advises Mufasa, the king of Pride Rock, The Wrap reports. The two actors are best known for the roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe movie 'Captain America: Civil War'. Disney are rebooting the beloved 1994 animated movie with 'Jungle Book' filmmaker Jon Favreau helming the project and Chiwetel Ejiofor is reportedly in talks to play the villain of the movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Sinister Scar, who is the brother of Mufasa and uncle to the young cub Simba, was originally voiced by Jeremy Irons in the award-winning 1994 animated Disney movie. 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. Oliver will be voicing Zazu, a hornbill who serves as the king's majordomo and was originally played by Rowan Atkinson. Recently it was revealed that Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner were cast to play the comedy duo Timon and Pumbaa. The movie is set for a July 2019 release and Favreau is already in pre-production, with Jeff Nathanson writing the script. It has also been rumored that BeyoncÈ is the preferred choice to play Nala in the movie. 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. 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight' played out over the credits of the 1994 movie and went on to win Best Original Song at the 1995 Academy Awards. Back in February, Disney revealed the movie is on the "fast-track to production" and the studio announced other remakes including 'Dumbo', 'Aladdin' and 'Mulan'.