Barry Jenkins to direct sequel to The Lion King
After the huge box office success that was Jon Favreau's photo-realistic reboot of The Lion King, which raked in a staggering $1.6 billion (£1.2 billion) at cinemas, a sequel always seemed likley, and it has now emerged that Disney has found its director.
Barry Jenkins, the Oscar-winning director behind Moonlight and If Beale Street Could Talk, has been lined up to direct the sequel, according to a report by Deadline.
The sequel will continue to make use of the technology that enabled Favreau's visually stunning film, with screenwriter Jeff Nathanson, who provided the script to the 2019 blockbuster, reported to have completed an initial draft for its follow-up.
It's still very early days for the project and there are no confirmed details on the plot as yet, nor is there a confirmed release date or even a proposed production schedule at this point, but Deadline's report states that the plot could explore an origin story for Mufasa, Simba's father.
This will be the second Disney project Jenkins has signed up to, with a biopic of choreographer Alvin Ailey for Searchlight, the subsidiary which was recently acquired by Disney as part of their purchase of 20th Century Fox.
“Helping my sister raise two young boys during the ’90s, I grew up with these characters,” Jenkins said. “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.”