The Lion King 2 to Feature Music from Pharrell Williams and More

It’s the circle of life! Are you “happy” now?


As we all know, 1994’s The Lion King featured one of the greatest movie soundtracks of all time. It is so iconic that last year’s live-action remake from director Jon Favreau was forced to recycle all your favorite hits while adding a truly forgettable Beyoncé song to the mix. So it’s safe to say that when it comes to the soundtrack for the next Lion King movie, director Barry Jenkins has his work cut out for him.

Fortunately, Jenkins has enlisted a superstar trio for the soundtrack, as Oscar winner Hans Zimmer and two-time Oscar nominees Pharrell Williams and Nicholas Britell will provide the music for Disney’s upcoming movie, which will double as both a prequel and a sequel to the 2019 blockbuster.

Zimmer is no stranger to Pride Rock, having previously scored the original 1994 animated movie, as well as last year’s remake — for which Williams produced several songs. Britell is the new addition to the team, having composed the score for Jenkins’ last two movies, Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk. Britell is also working on the music for Jenkins’ upcoming Amazon series The Underground Railroad.

Image via Criterion

The new Lion King movie will utilize the same photo-realistic technology from last year’s remake, though it’s still very early in the process, as there’s no new casting yet, and a release date has yet to be announced. It’s not too early, however, to start writing songs for the film, depending on how far along scribe Jeff Nathanson is with the film’s screenplay.

The film is expected to move both forwards and backwards in time a la The Godfather Part II, and it is expected to explore Mufasa’s origin story. Jenkins’ trusted collaborators Adele Romanski and Mark Ceryak are expected to produce the follow-up to Favreau’s film, which grossed $1.6 billion worldwide and inspired Beyoncé’s Disney+ movie Black Is King.

Williams scored a huge hit in 2013 with his song “Happy” from Despicable Me 2, and Disney would no doubt love to replicate the success of that catchy track. Other than John Williams, Zimmer is Hollywood’s go-to composer for mainstream blockbusters, and he has handled some of my favorite scores, including The Rock and The Dark Knight. As for Britell, I don’t even watch Succession and I love the majestic theme to that HBO show.

And speaking of exciting music news to come out of Disney’s Investor Day, Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda will contribute new songs to the animated movie Encanto, and you can click here for more on that magical Colombian project.


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