AceShowbiz - Disney's "The Lion King (2019)" is getting a sequel, with awards-winning filmmaker Barry Jenkins at the helm. The "Moonlight" director has been tapped to take over the directing duty from Jon Favreau, who would not return as director for the follow-up film.
In a statement released on Tuesday, September 29, Jenkins expressed his excitement at embracing the African culture with the upcoming project. "Helping my sister raise two young boys during the ’90s, I grew up with these characters," he shared how he grew attached to the fictional Pride Lands characters.
He added, "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."
Jenkins' partner, filmmaker Lulu Wang, seemed to celebrate the news by recreating an iconic scene from the movie. She posted on Twitter a short clip of her lifting her dog while the film's opening music played in the background.
The sequel will be a continuation to the 2019 movie, rather than the 1994 cartoon. Sources say the new movie will partly focus on the early years of Mufasa, the regal father of Simba whose death forms the emotional heart of the first film and its remake.
Jeff Nathanson, who wrote the screenplay for the 2019 movie, is returning to write the follow-up. Disney, however, has not announced a release date for the sequel and it's also unclear when the production will start.
The Favreau-directed reboot heavily used photorealistic computer-animated images and featured some new original songs, in addition to a cover of The Tokens' "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" and the song "He Lives in You".
The star-studded voice cast includes Donald Glover as Simba, Beyonce Knowles as Nala, Billy Eichner as Timon, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, James Earl Jones as Mufasa, and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar among others. It's currently unknown if they have been on board to return for the sequel.