The Lion King Sequel in Development with Director Barry Jenkins
According to Variety, Disney is developing a sequel to 2019’s photorealistic remake of The Lion King with Oscar-winner Barry Jenkins (Moonlight, If Beale Street Could Talk) set to direct the project. Jeff Nathanson, the writer of the 2019 Oscar-nominated film, is returning to pen the sequel. Jenkins partner, director Lulu Wang, posted about the news on Twitter, which you can check out below!
— Lulu Wang (@thumbelulu) September 29, 2020
The movie will serve as a continuation of the studio’s remake that was directed by Emmy nominee Jon Favreau (The Mandalorian) and earned over $1.5 billion at the global box office. A release date or production start for the sequel has not yet been announced.
“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.”
Lions rule the African savanna in 2019’s The Lion King, which welcomes Donald Glover (Atlanta, Solo: A Star Wars Story) as future-king Simba, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter (Dreamgirls, “Lemonade” visual album) as Simba’s friend-turned-love interest Nala, and James Earl Jones (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Field of Dreams) as Simba’s wise and loving father, Mufasa, reprising his iconic performance from Disney’s 1994 animated classic.
Chiwetel Ejiofor (Twelve Years a Slave, Doctor Strange) was called on to portray Simba’s villainous uncle Scar, and Alfre Woodard (Juanita, Marvel’s Luke Cage) portrays Simba’s no-nonsense mother, Sarabi. JD McCrary (Tyler Perry’s The Paynes, Vital Signs) fills the shoes of Young Simba, a confident cub who can’t wait to be king, and Shahadi Wright Joseph (Hairspray Live, Broadway’s “The Lion King”) brings tough cub Young Nala to life.
Every kingdom comes with a trustworthy advisor or two. John Kani (Coriolanus, Captain America: Civil War) was cast as the wise baboon Rafiki, and John Oliver (Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) was tapped as hornbill Zazu, Mufasa’s loyal confidant. When Simba goes into exile, he relies on two newfound friends — Seth Rogen (Sausage Party, Neighbors) lends his comedic chops to naïve warthog Pumbaa, and Billy Eichner (Billy on the Street, American Horror Story) joins the cast as know-it-all meerkat, Timon.
While most of the animals in the kingdom respect the king, the hyenas have other plans. Florence Kasumba (Emerald City, Black Panther) portrays Shenzi, Eric André (The Eric André Show, Man Seeking Woman) is Azizi, and Keegan-Michael Key (Predator, Friends from College) plays Kamari.