Just when Simba thought he was out, they’ll pull him back in…
Moonlight director Barry Jenkins has officially signed on to direct a follow-up to Disney’s remake of The Lion King. Written by Jeff Nathanson, who scripted the 2019 remake, details about the ambitious project are under wraps, but it will reportedly involve Mufasa’s origin story, making the film reminiscent of The Godfather: Part II while still maintaining the “musical tradition” of The Lion King films and Broadway adaptation. Via Deadline:
“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.”
Considering the 2019 remake walked away with a $1.6 billion box office haul, it’s no surprise that Disney has fast-tracked a follow-up to the Jon Favreau-directed film. However, Disney’s latest trend of remaking its animated classics has not been without controversy. Animators from the original films have spoken out the issue of royalties and the sting of watching their work being recreated through CGI-fare that they feel lacks the art and creativity of the originals.
“It’s sort of sad that the stockholder is now in the room deciding what movies get made…” animator David Stephan who worked on the original Lion King movie previously told HuffPost. “Disney’s now taken the cover off, and it’s now in your face: ‘Yeah, we just want to make money.’ That’s disappointing as an artist, from a studio that was founded on originality and art.”
A release date for The Lion King live-action sequel has not been announced.