Disney confirm Lion King sequel, Moonlight’s Barry Jenkins to direct

Lion King fans, be prepared for ‘sensational news’.

Having grossed over $1.6 billion worldwide last year, it’s safe to say that Disney’s live-action remake of The Lion King was a colossal hit.

Though many audiences would assume that the story of Simba and co. had ended, it turns out that Walt Disney Studios have other ideas.

In one of the most bizarre bits of film news in 2020, it has been confirmed that a sequel is in the works with Oscar-winning filmmaker Barry Jenkins (Moonlight, If Beale Street Could Talk) onboard to direct. He takes over the reins from original director Jon Favreau.

On his involvement, Jenkins said:

“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.”

It is understood that the story will further explore the mythology of the characters, which include the origins of Simba’s father Mufasa. Furthermore, it will also move the story forward, which will undoubtedly draw comparisons with what Francis Ford Coppola managed to achieve with The Godfather: Part II (1974).

This also means that it won’t be based on the direct-to-video sequels to the original animation; Simba’s Pride (1998) or (2004).

A draft script has already been penned by Jeff Nathanson, who penned the screenplay for last year’s film. A release date has not been announced, though it is understood that production will begin soon.

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