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‘The Lion King’ Remake Casts Alfre Woodard as Simba’s Mom

Vivien Killilea, Getty Images / Disney
Vivien Killilea, Getty Images / Disney

On the heels of last week’s Aladdin update comes another exciting bit of casting news for another big Disney remake. This time it’s Jon Favreau’s take on The Lion King, which has enlisted Alfre Woodard as the voice of Sarabi — head lioness, partner to Mufasa, and mother of Simba in the upcoming live-action (ish) version of the studio’s beloved animated classic.

Per THR, Woodard is the latest to lend her voice talents to The Lion King, one of several big-budget live-action (in this case, a blend of live-action and CGI) remakes in development at Disney. Woodard joins a fairly stacked ensemble that also includes Donald Glover as Simba, Chiwetel Ejiofor as the villainous Scar, John Oliver as Zazu, and Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen as Timon and Pumbaa (respectively). James Earl Jones, who voiced Mufasa in the 1994 animated film, is reprising his iconic role for the remake.

Jon Favreau will produce and direct The Lion King from a script by Jeff Nathanson (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales). Like Favreau’s reimagining of The Jungle Book, the new version of The Lion King will utilize a similarly ambitious mix of live-action and CGI to retell the beloved coming-of-age story of Simba.

In addition to The Lion King, which is currently slated for a June 2019 release, Disney is developing live-action remakes of numerous animated classics, including Aladdin (with Guy Ritchie), Dumbo (with Tim Burton) and Mulan (with Niki Caro).

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