It’s not very often that a movie makes over $1 billion at the box office and does not spawn a sequel, so it seemed like a foregone conclusion that last year’s The Lion King remake would be getting a sequel of some sort. But the question of how to do that with these Disney live-action remakes is a tricky one, especially considering that many of them have several direct-to-video animated sequels that you would likely want to steer clear of (The Lion King being no exception there). Director Jon Favreau is also pretty busy these days with The Mandalorian and he also has a similar sequel in development with The Jungle Book 2. So instead Disney has decided to entrust The Lion King sequel with Oscar-winning director Barry Jenkins (Moonlight). Here’s what he had to say about the announcement:
“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.”
From the sounds of it, the movie might actually be a prequel as it will reportedly aim to “further explore the mythology of the characters, including Mufasa’s origin story.” However, Deadline also likens it to The Godfather: Part II so it could be a sequel that also contains flashbacks. The current draft of the script was written by Jeff Nathanson (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales). The 2019 movie received mixed reviews, but perhaps telling a new story that avoids direct comparison will help them in that regard. Are you interested in another photorealistic CG follow-up to The Lion King?