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Filmmaker Barry Jenkins to direct ‘The Lion King’ follow-up

Filmmaker Barry Jenkins to direct 'The Lion King' follow-up
News & Gossips

According to Variety, Barry Jenkins, the Oscar-winning filmmaker behind ‘Moonlight’ and ‘If Beale Street Could Talk,’ will direct the upcoming feature based on the beloved family classic.

Washington: The Walt Disney Studios is all set to return to the Pride Lands for a sequel to the 2019 superhit ‘The Lion King’.

According to Variety, Barry Jenkins, the Oscar-winning filmmaker behind ‘Moonlight’ and ‘If Beale Street Could Talk,’ will direct the upcoming feature based on the beloved family classic.

The movie will be a continuation of the studio’s 2019 photorealistic remake, rather than the 1994 cartoon.

As per Variety’s sources, 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.

“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,” Jenkins added.

Variety reports that Jeff Nathanson, who wrote the screenplay for the 2019 movie, is returning to write the follow-up.

The voice cast for the remake included the star-studded lineup of Donald Glover as Simba, Beyonce Knowles-Carter as Nala, Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen and as Timon and Pumbaa and James Earl Jones as Mufasa. Disney has yet to announce who, if any, from that group will be part of the sequel.

Director Lulu Wang, Jenkins’ partner was seen celebrating the news on Twitter with a nod to the film’s iconic opening music.

However, Disney hasn’t announced a release date for the sequel. With COVID-19 and Jenkins’ busy schedule, it’s also unclear when the special effects-heavy production will start.

Disney has reimagined a number of its animated classics, including ‘Aladdin,’ ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ ‘Mulan’ and ‘Dumbo.’ As previously announced, ‘Aladdin’ is also getting a sequel following the commercial success of the live-action version.

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