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The Lion King’s live-action remake just got two brand-new cast members


Just whisper the word ‘Disney’ and you’ll see the eyes of our inner child light up with unabashed glee. Who are we kidding? Our grown-up eyes do exactly the same thing at the promise of some Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo magic.

So, imagine how excited we were to find out more details have been released about the live action remake of not just a Disney film, but one of (if not the most) iconic Disney films ever made: The Lion King.

Read more: The most inspirational Disney quotes

To our delight, two new cast members have been announced – and they’re taking on a pair of very important characters.

Alfre Woodard

Alfre Woodard will voice Simba's mum, Sarabi

That’s right: Alfre Woodard and John Kani will be playing Sarabi and Rafiki, respectively. 

Woodard – famed for her roles in True Blood and Luke Cage – will play Simba’s mother, Sarabi. This lioness is, for everyone who doesn’t remember, a total badass, serving as the Queen of Pride Rock when her husband is brutally killed. And, years after Scar usurps the throne, it’s Sarabi who helps Simba fight against Scar and his hyenas.

Read more: 30 discreet and utterly magical Disney tattoos

Meanwhile Kani, who appeared in Captain America: Civil War, is set to take on the role of Rafiki, aka everyone’s favourite baboon.

Simultaneously wise and cheeky, Rafiki acts as advisor to Mufasa and plays a big part in The Circle of Life, lifting baby Simba up for all of the Savannah to see. More important, though, are Rafiki’s actions later on in the movie: when Simba loses his way, it’s the baboon who guides him back home.

Woodard and Kani are the latest acting heavy-weights to join the star-studded cast of The Lion King, which includes such stars as Donald Glover (Simba) and John Oliver (Zazu).

Beyonce is rumoured to be considering the part of Nala, and James Earl Jones will be reprising his role as Mufasa, which we are absolutely thrilled about. Can you imagine anyone else delivering that powerful line of, “Simba, remember who you are”?

We’re welling up just thinking about it.

Donald Glover

Donald Glover (also known as Childish Gambino) will be playing Simba

There’s also rumours that 10 Years A Slave actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor, could be voicing the menacing Scar – which we’re crossing our fingers for. 


Read more: An LGBTQ Disney princess could be on the cards, say Moana creators

The Lion King will be directed by Jon Favreau. And, as he already has a bevy of titles under his belt – including The Jungle Book and Iron Man, we’re pretty sure that your favourite film is in very safe hands indeed.  

Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man Tell No Tales script writer Jeff Nathanson will be creating the dialogue for the film, which is currently being filmed in Los Angeles.

The film is reported to hit cinemas 19 July 2019, giving us about two years to re-watch the original to our heart’s content. 

Images: Rex Features / Disney



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