Walt Disney Studios have just tapped Oscar award winner and Moonlight director Barry Jenkins to lead the sequel to their 2019 blockbuster The Lion King.
"Helping my sister raise two young boys during the '90s, I grew up with these characters,” Jenkins said about his feelings surrounding working on this film. “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.”
Deadline reports that the Disney follow-up will dive deeper into the mythos surrounding specific characters, including Mufasa's backstory and assumably others. This also won't be Jenkins first foray into directing a Disney film. He is also set to direct a biopic of the famed choreographer Alvin Ailey for Searchlight. Jeff Nathanson has also completed an initial draft of script. Jenkins has notably directed the Oscar Award-Winning film Moonlight, as well as the Oscar-nominated film If Beale Street Could Talk.
There is no word yet on the voice-acting cast for The Lion King sequel, but the initial blockbuster re-imagining feature a super star-studded cast of Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover, Alfre Woodard, Beyoncé, James Earl Jones, John Oliver, Keegan-Michael Key, Eric Andre, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, Amy Sedaris, and Chance the Rapper. Paired with the film, Beyoncé also released the soundtrack for it titled The Lion King: The Gift.