A sequel to 2019’s CG-animated remake of The Lion King is moving forward at Disney.
The studio has just tapped Oscar-winning Moonlight director Barry Jenkins to helm the follow-up. That’s right, the man behind Moonlight is directing The Lion King 2. Jeff Nathanson, who wrote the first instalment, is back to script the sequel. He has already completed an initial draft of the script.
The sequel will use the same photorealistic technology The Lion King director Jon Favreau used in the 2019 film and in The Jungle Book. Deadline reports that the story will “further explore the mythology of the characters, including Mufasa’s origin story.” So if I was a betting man, I’d wager that the film will not adapt any of the animated film’s sequels. Which is a shame because The Lion King 1.5 is great!
Here’s what Jenkins said on the project in a statement:
“Helping my sister raise two young boys during the ’90s, I grew up with these characters. 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.”
This will be Jenkins’ second film project with Disney. He also has a biopic of choreographer Alvin Ailey in the works at Searchlight. The Lion King 2 is definitely new territory for the director behind Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk, but hey I wouldn’t turn down a huge payday from Disney either!
There’s no word yet on if any of the cast behind the 2019 film will return, but if Mufasa is involved you know you need to get James Earl Jones back!
We’ll keep you posted.
Thoughts on Jenkins directing a sequel to The Lion King? Do you hope he takes the franchise in new and exciting directions?