At the Movies

The Lion King to Receive a Sequel

Disney's popular 2019 remake is set to receive a follow-up directed by Barry Jenkins.

SEPTEMBER 29th, 2020

© Disney


Disney’s 2019 remake of The Lion King is set to receive a sequel. Oscar winner Barry Jenkins (Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk) is set to helm the follow-up with Jeff Nathanson, who adapted the first movie with Jon Favreau, back in the fold to write the script – it is believed that an initial script has already been completed.

The film is expected to continue the photo-realistic theme that Favreau used in the first movie and 2016’s The Jungle Book. With the last film grossing over $1.6 billion worldwide, the project has quickly become a priority for Disney, though no release date has been set or for the production to start.

Barry Jenkins is set to direct the upcoming sequel - © Getty Images

Although there has been no confirmation on the plotline Deadline Magazine claim that the sequel will further explore the mythology of the characters and could follow an origin story about Mufasa. “Think The Godfather: Part II, though set on the African plain with a continuation on the tradition of music,” says a source.

This would be a deviation from the straight-to-video sequel Simba’s Pride, released in 1998, and could potentially expand the world of The Lion King.

Nala (Beyoncé) and Simba (Donald Glover) - © Disney

Jenkin’s responded to the news, saying: “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.”

There has been no immediate word on cast, though it is expected that Disney is hoping for the return of Donald Glover (Simba) and Beyoncé (Nala). And if the plot on Mufasa’s origin is confirmed, James Earl Jones could voice the iconic character once again.

“They have a huge following and are global superstars so naturally Disney are expecting them to return. With Beyoncé’s film Black is King inspired by The Lion King, the studio is hoping the star will say ‘yes’ to returning,” claimed a Disney source.

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