Deadline is exclusively reporting that Disney are moving forward with a sequel to the 2019 live-action adaptation of The Lion King, by bringing onboard Academy Award-winner Barry Jenkins to direct.
The official synopsis for the 2019 live-action adaptation is as follows:
Jon Favreau’s all-new The Lion King journeys to the African savanna where a future king is born. Simba idolises his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny. But not everyone in the kingdom celebrates the new cub’s arrival. Scar, Mufasa’s brother-and former heir to the throne-has plans of his own. The battle for Pride Rock is ravaged with betrayal, tragedy and drama, ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With help from a curious pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.
Barry Jenkins released a statement 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.
Though the logline for the sequel is being kept under wraps, the reporter of the exclusive states that they’ve heard that the story will further explore the mythology of the characters, including Mufasa’s origin story. Jeff Nathanson, who wrote the screenplay for the 2019 film, is attached here and has completed an initial draft of the script. The sequel will still continue to use the photo-realistic technology that Jon Favreau used when directing The Lion King, as well as 2016’s The Jungle Book. The 2019 film earned $1.6billion worldwide at the box office.
While I wasn’t a fan of the execution of the 2019 live-action adaptation, I’m keen on what Barry Jenkins can do with the story here, but with Disney’s recent track record with adapting their animated classics into live-action adaptations, I’m finding it difficult to be excited right now.