It's time to return to Pride Rock once again. A live-action Lion King sequel has been announced, and it sounds like there's a whole new adventure planned. Few details about the new movie have been released, but what fans do know makes it sound like a brand new kind of Disney sequel.
Deadline first reported the news that a live-action Lion King sequel is in the works. According to the outlet, the movie is being written by Jeff Nathanson, who also penned the 2019 live-action remake. However, while Jon Favreau directed the first installment, this upcoming sequel will be directed by Barry Jenkins. Jenkins previously won the Oscar for writing Best Picture winner Moonlight, which he also directed; he also wrote and directed If Beale Street Could Talk. Jenkins confirmed the news by retweeting the Deadline story with the simple phrase, "THIS."
Jenkins also expressed his excitement about the project to Deadline, saying, "Helping my sister raise two young boys during the ’90s, I grew up with these characters. 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.”
The Lion King sequel will make use of the same photo-realistic CGI technology that was used in the 2019 movie and in the Favreau-directed 2016 remake of The Jungle Book. The official logline for the Lion King sequel hasn't been revealed yet, but Deadline reported the story is expected to further explore the mythology of the Lion King characters, including digging into Mufasa's backstory.
Two direct-to-video sequels of the original 1994 animated Lion King were released, The Lion King II: Simba's Pride and The Lion King 1 1/2 in 1998 and 2004, respectively. The 2019 Lion King stuch pretty closely to the story of the 1994 original movie, but it sounds like the upcoming sequel won't follow the previously made sequels, and instead tell a whole new story.
The voice cast for the live-action Lion King sequel hasn't been announced yet. The 2019 movie cast included Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover, Alfre Woodard, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, James Earl Jones, John Oliver, Keegan-Michael Key, Eric Andre, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, Amy Sedaris, and Chance the Rapper. Hopefully the new movie will welcome at least some of this star-studded cast back to the savanna.