In 2019, Disney’s live-action remake of arguably its most celebrated animated film, The Lion King, earned over $1 billion at the worldwide box office. Despite receiving mixed reactions from fans and critics alike, the film is undoubtedly a triumph for CG filmmaking technology. As first reported by Deadline, a sequel to the 2019 film is in the works at Walt Disney Studios with Moonlight director Barry Jenkins at the helm.
Per the initial report, Jenkins will direct the feature with a script penned by the original film’s scribe Jeff Nathanson (Rush Hour 2). The creative shakeup is certainly one that will get audiences excited. 2019’s The Lion King was directed by The Mandalorian‘s Jon Favreau and, at this time, there is no word on if the filmmaker plans to return in any capacity.
Moreover, the film will implement the same groundbreaking technology used for the 2019 outing. However, it seems the new picture will not borrow elements from the 1998 film The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride. The story will reportedly further explore the past and mythology of the main characters. The initial report also mentions the possibility of exploring Mufasa’s origin story. At this time, no additional casting information or release date is official. In a statement accompanying the announcement, Jenkins expresses his excitement for the project.
“Helping my sister raise two young boys during the ’90s, I grew up with these characters,” Jenkins said. “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.”
The Lion King stars Donald Glover, Billy Eichner, James Earl Jones, Beyonce Knowles-Carter, Seth Rogen, and John Oliver. In her review of the film, Full Circle’s Jacqueline Lainez says “The Lion King is visually amazing but fails to bring anything new to the table that the original did not already bring audiences.” Meanwhile, Barry Jenkins is one of the most in-demand filmmakers around. Following the win for Best Picture for Moonlight, he is the second black person to direct a Best Picture winner. Additionally, his 2018 film If Beale Street Could Talk also received a bevy of accolades. Up next, the director will helm Amazon’s The Underground Railroad.
What do you think? Are you excited about a Lion King 2? Let us know in the comments below!
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