Get ready once again enter the circle of life, as it has now been announced that Disney is moving forward with a sequel to last year's hugely successful live-action remake of The Lion King. The follow-up is set to be directed by Barry Jenkins, who's coming-of-age drama Moonlight won the Academy Award for Best Picture back in 2017.
The Lion King 2 will once again make use of the groundbreaking photo-realistic computer animation that brought the first movie to cinematic life. Jeff Nathanson, who wrote 2019's The Lion King, is also returning to write the sequel. The movie has not yet been given a release date or production start date, but considering the huge financial success of the first Lion King, it is likely a high priority for Disney.
While specific plot details for The Lion King sequel are being kept tightly under wraps, the sequel will reportedly delve into Mufasa's past. Rather than being a prequel, however, the movie will progress the story of the main characters from the first movie at the same time as exploring Mufasa's origin.
"Helping my sister raise two young boys during the '90s, I grew up with these characters," Barry Jenkins said of the sequel. "Having the opportunity to work with Disney on expanding this magnificent tale of friendship, love and legacy while furthering my work chronicling the lives and souls of folk within the African diaspora is a dream come true."
A sequel to the animated movie titled The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride was released in 1998 and follows Simba's relationship with his daughter Kiara after she escapes Timon and Pumba's care, venturing into the forbidden lands and befriending Kovu, the son of Scar. Whether the live-action sequel will take any elements from this remains to be seen, but it is possible considering that The Lion King ends the same as its cartoon predecessor with Simba and Nala being presented with their newborn cub.
The Lion King is a remake of the beloved Disney animated classic from 1994, and follows a young lion cub named Simba who, after the murder of his father, flees his kingdom. Years later, a chance encounter with Nala, a lioness, causes him to return and take back what is rightfully his. Along the way (and because this is a Disney movie) he learns the true meaning of responsibility and bravery while earning his place as king.
The Lion King is directed by Iron Man's Jon Favreau, and stars the voices of Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner, John Kani, John Oliver, Florence Kasumba, Eric Andre, Keegan-Michael Key, JD McCrary, Shahadi Wright Joseph, and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, as well as James Earl Jones reprising his role as Mufasa from the original animated movie. There is no word yet as to whether or not members of the original cast will return for the sequel, but it is highly likely that an effort will be made to bring them all back to the kingdom of Pride Rock.
The Lion King was a box office triumph and quickly went on to break a $1 billion, as well as entering the top 10 highest-grossing movies of all time, continuing the huge success that Disney has seen so far from their live-action remakes. This news was first reported by Deadline.