Be prepared for another live-action Lion King.
A follow-up to Disney's 2019 live-action remake of The Lion King is in the works, and Moonlight filmmaker Barry Jenkins will direct it, Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter reported on Tuesday. The screenwriter behind the 2019 film, Jeff Nathanson, has reportedly already finished a draft of the script, per Deadline.
Jenkins confirmed the news on Twitter and in 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."
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The 2019 remake of The Lion King was directed by Jon Favreau, and it grossed a whopping $1.6 billion, becoming the seventh highest-grossing movie of all time despite receiving middling reviews. The original animated Lion King was followed by the direct-to-video The Lion King II: Simba's Pride and The Lion King 1½.
Deadline says Jenkins' movie will be "moving the story forward while looking back," and Variety reports it will "partly focus on the early years of Mufasa." The Lion King is the latest remake from Disney to get another installment; a follow-up to 2019's Aladdin is also in the works, and the 2017 Beauty and the Beast remake is getting a Disney+ prequel series about LeFou and Gaston.
Jenkins' 2016 film Moonlight previously won the Academy Award for Best Picture — though famously, La La Land was first wrongly announced to have won — and he followed that up with another acclaimed film in 2018, If Beale Street Could Talk. Should his Lion King movie go on to win any Oscars, let's just hope they read the right winner the first time.
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