Disney plans another ‘Lion King’ movie with ‘Moonlight’ director Barry Jenkins
You’re damn right The Lion King, the 2019 one, is getting a follow up. It’s given Disney more than $1.6 billion in global ticket sales to date and its CG delivery makes it a pandemic-resistant production.
The just-revealed project will be directed by Moonlight writer and director Barry Jenkins, with a script from the first installment’s writer, Jeff Nathanson. It’s early, with the report noting than Nathanson has only completed an “initial draft,” so don’t expect casting or release date news anytime soon. Mashable has
Even the story is something of a mystery at this point. Deadline’s report notes that the new Lion King “will further explore the mythology of the characters, including Mufasa’s origin story.” There’s some suggestion that the timeline will jump back and forth between past and present, a la The Godfather: Part II, but it’s not clear if that’s a detail provided by Deadline’s source or simply speculation from the report.
The 2019 release of The Lion King is, for all intents and purposes, a remake of the 1994 classic that swaps out the original’s 2D animated presentation in favor of CG characters and scenes. There are slight changes, including some new music and a soundtrack reworked with guidance from Beyoncé.
The original movie already had a direct-to-video sequel of its own, The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride, released in 1998. It’s not clear if this upcoming film will borrow any elements from that.
The song “He Lives in You,” which features into both the Broadway adaptation of the original as well as Simba’s Pride, played over the credits in the 2019 remake. So there’s already a demonstrated history at Disney of digging into earlier works, and the 1998 sequel’s story about Simba and Nala’s daughter does “further explore the mythology of the characters.”
It’s too early to know any of that, but Disney is confident enough after The Lion King‘s 2019 success to move forward with a follow up, and with an Academy Award-winning talent in Jenkins.