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The Lion King live action casts Sarabi, Rafiki & nearing deal with Beyonce for Nala

The cast for the live-action remake of “The Lion King” is coming together, with Alfre Woodard (Marvel’s “Luke Cage”) to voice Sarabi, and John Kani (“Captain America: Civil War”) cast as the voice of Rafiki.

Fans of the original cartoon (eg. me – poor mum, I dragged her to the cinema 6 times to see it) will know Sarabi as the mother of Simba, and Rafiki is the wise old baboon who plays a pivotal role in the story. Rafiki served as the royal advisor to Mufasa (Simba’s father) and is the animal who holds up baby Simba on Pride Rock in the iconic scene.

The Wrap announced Kani’s involvement, after the D23 convention footage featured the lovable baboon. The Tracking Board have the news on Sarabi’s casting, with Alfre Woodward given the role of Simba’s mother.

The two join Donald Glover as Simba, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, John Oliver as Zazu, Seth Rogan and Billy Eichener as Pumbaa and Timon respectively, and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar (although talks for him are still ongoing).

Beyonce’s involvement to voice Nala is still in discussions, with The Tracking Board noting that the singer is believed to be nearing a deal to voice Simba’s little mate but also serve as the “new Elton John” by producing the soundtrack. The deal would be quite complicated in this sense, so it’s believed that the announcement would be made last.

The live-action remake “The Lion King” is being directed by Jon Favreau and production is currently underway in Los Angeles.

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