The Oscar-nominated actress recently received much acclaim for her performance in Marvel's Luke Cage on Netflix, in addition to having a small yet pivotal role in Captain America: Civil War.
Woodard's character is the mother of Simba, who will be played by Donald Glover, and is the wife of Mufasa, whose role will be reprised by James Earl Jones. Madge Sinclair originally voiced the character in the 1994 animated film.
The synopsis for the original film states:
"The Lion King follows the adventures of the young lion Simba, the heir of his father, Mufasa. Simba's wicked uncle, Scar, plots to usurp Mufasa's throne by luring father and son into a stampede of wildebeests. But Simba escapes, and only Mufasa is killed. Simba returns as an adult to take back his homeland from Scar with the help of his friends Timon and Pumbaa."
In the film, Sarabi finds herself immensely distraught by Mufasa's death, with Scar taking advantage of the lack of leadership and commanding the rest of the pride to bow at his command. With Scar lying to Sarabi about Simba also dying in the stampede, she finds herself helpless to overthrow Scar, until Simba's eventual return empowers her to take action.
Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, Chiwetel Ejiofor and John Oliver round out the cast of the Jon Favreau-directed adaptation. The director found great success with last year's live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book, which has given Disney high hopes for translating their animated hits into live-action blockbusters.
The Lion King is scheduled to release in theaters July 19, 2019.
Photo Credit: Getty / Michael Tran Archive