This week, Disney confirmed that the live-action Lion King is officially getting a sequel. The follow-up film will be directed by Barry Jenkins, the filmmaker behind Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk. But before you get excited, there are some things you should know.
Although the 2019 live-action remake received mixed reviews, Lion King generated over $1.6 billion at the global box office. The film had a star-studded lineup that included Donald Glover as Simba, Beyoncé as Nala and Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen as Timon and Pumbaa.
Now, Disney is planning to return to the Pride Lands for a new sequel film. However, it looks like the upcoming remake will not follow the same storyline. Although information is limited so far, it sounds like the new Lion King film will not be based on the 1998 animated sequel The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride.
The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride focused greatly on Simba and Nala’s daughter Kiara who falls in love with Kovu. Kovu was loyal to Simba’s evil uncle Scar and was eventually banished from the kingdom.
According to Deadline, however, the live-action sequel will be very different. The forthcoming film “will further explore the mythology of the characters, including Mufasa’s origin story.”
Due to coronavirus and Jenkins’ schedule, Disney hasn’t confirmed a release date or production start date for the new film. However, Jenkins shares he is excited to direct the new project.
“Helping my sister raise two young boys during the ’90s, I grew up with these characters,” Jenkins says. “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.”
Disney has also not confirmed who from the 2019 film’s star-studded cast is returning for the sequel.