The circle of life will continue with “Moonlight” director Barry Jenkins now at the helm.
Jenkins will direct a sequel to the photo-realistic Disney film “The Lion King”, which grossed $1.6 billion at the worldwide box office. Jon Favreau directed the Golden Globe and Oscar nominated 2019 movie.
“Helping my sister raise two young boys during the ’90s, I grew up with these characters,” the Oscar-winning screenwriter said in a statement to Deadline. “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.”
Deadline is reporting the story will focus on Mufasa’s origin story. Jeff Nathanson, who wrote the screenplay for the 2019 movie, will return to write the follow-up.
The 2019 film featured an all-star voice cast, which included Beyonce, Seth Rogen, Donald Glover and saw James Earl Jones reprise his role as Mufasa from the original animated film. No word on if the same cast will return in some form for the sequel. Disney has yet to announce a release date for the project.
The “If Beale Street Could Talk” filmmaker’s life partner, director Lulu Wang, gave a nod to the news by posting a fun video featuring “The Lion King”‘s iconic opening.
— Lulu Wang (@thumbelulu) September 29, 2020
— Barry Jenkins (@BarryJenkins) September 29, 2020