Disney officially announced a sequel to its live-action Lion King today. Oscar winner Barry Jenkins will direct the film.
Jenkins won the Oscar for his screenplay for Moonlight in 2017. He was also nominated for directing both Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk.
We don’t have plot details about the Lion King sequel yet. However, we know it will continue to use the same realistic CG animals (as opposed to the animation of Disney’s original Lion King).
The animated film’s sequel, Simba’s Pride, followed Simba and Nala’s daughter as she tried to convince Scar’s son to help her unite the prides. At this time, it’s unclear if the live-action sequel will follow a similar vein. Reports to Deadline suggest the sequel will further explore the mythology of the characters, including Mufasa’s origin story.
Jenkins expressed his excitement to join the project.
“Helping my sister raise two young boys during the ’90s, I grew up with these characters,” said Jenkins. “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.”
Lion King 2 will be Jenkins’ second project with Disney. He is currently working on a biopic about famed choreographer Alvin Ailey.
Jeff Nathanson, who scripted the last film, also wrote this one. No word yet on when production will start on the next Lion King movie, or any projected release date.
The first live-action Lion King proved a resounding success for Disney. It grossed over $1.6 billion worldwide.
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