Disney's 'Lion King' sequel won't be the animated remake you're expecting

Brenda Watkins
September 30, 2020

The 2019 remake of The Lion King was directed by Jon Favreau, and it grossed a whopping $1.6 billion, becoming the seventh highest-grossing movie of all time despite receiving middling reviews.

"The Lion King" received the live-action treatment in the 2019 remake from director Jon Favreau, joining Disney's growing list of animated tales to be retold through a more realistic lens. Relying on groundbreaking technology he'd used on his The Jungle Book remake, the Iron Man vet was able to create an immersive world of talking, photorealistic animals.

"Helping my sister raise two young boys during the '90s, I grew up with these characters", Jenkins said in a statement run by Variety. He confirmed the news on his Twitter account.

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The Lion King was the last in a trifecta of live-action remakes released by Disney previous year, and it was the highest-grossing of the bunch. Set to direct is Oscar victor Barry Jenkins who scripted Moonlight. You might be compelled to ask "Who wants a prequel to The Lion King?" - but the reality is that nobody does, really.

Script writer Jeff Nathanson has also been tasked with writing this one, and has reportedly already finished a first draft. However, Jenkins shares he is excited to direct the new project. The original cast of last year's film includes Donald Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, James Earl Jones, Alfre Woodard, John Oliver, Keegan-Michael Key, Eric Andre, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, Amy Sedaris and Chance the Rapper.

While we're not sure exactly what the plot line will be for the next film, Deadlinesuggests it will expand on the back stories of characters such as Simba's dad Mufasa. The director originally entered the scene with his 2008 film Medicine for Melancholy before going on to direct the critically acclaimed drama Moonlight, which earned the Oscar for Best Picture, won Mahershala Ali Best Supporting Actor and scored Jenkins an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. He's now working on the Amazon TV series The Underground Railroad, based on Colson Whitehead's book.

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